tv U.S. Senate CSPAN December 26, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
system -- the reaction to china they just have a police chief said the prosecutor and the justice they get together and what kind of system is that? where does the defense have these rights? that's right, and then i think, you know, 98% or 95% of the cases are decided by a plea-bargain between the prosecutor and the lead defense lawyer. and i say what kind of a system is that? ..
>> go into a courtroom. it's a nasty system. and it isn't terribly efficient. they put it in because hamilton and the others hoped it would do one kind of a guarantee of a certain kind of basic liberty. and, of course, i believed in that. i wouldn't spend so much time -- yes. now, here. sorry. >> thanks. justice breyer, and john. i write the mitchell report. as i was listening to the beginning of this conversation between the two of you i was reminded of a wonderful
conversation that took place probably 30 plus years ago between bill moyers and one of, a former justice, justice blackmun, talking about the constitution. answer this question sort of goes to at what's at the heart of constitutionalism and rule of law, and looking back at the list of things that you listed. in the course of that conversation after a long discussion about the constitutionalism, a center. essentially blackmun turns to moyers and says it's really the preamble that breathes life into the constitution. and i wondered whether that's a point of view that you hold and whether you think it has relevance in the situation we're talking about now. >> , preamble, we the people and united states, et cetera, i used to be able to quote it, i don't
think i can now. anyway, it's written down. and the preamble is important saying we the people. but is not the only thing. and i say that because i do think, i had a very interesting conversation in china, i thought. i've gone there twice. the first time was a few years ago, maybe eight or 10, when we went to beijing and then we went to shanghai. and in shanghai we are asked to meet with a group of businessm businessmen, and these businessmen have all been involved in the.com. they lost a lot of money. most of them have made a lot back. so they're talking, and i was fascinated with his. one of them said i prefer the cultural revolution. the others said, what? he said the cultural revolution. why? he says, because then you knew the government was the enemy, now you're not sure. [laughter] so i said you already want to bring up about a democratic
system. they said yes. i'm not a law teacher. so after they say how much they're all favored the market, i said that's a very interesting question, point. i favorite. i favorite, but i've noticed from what i've read that there are millions of people in china who make just a few dollars a day. and they are on the own land and they're not very rich really. and you have quite a lot of money i gather. i was told. and suppose they also look, we are in the majority, and justice money down you. we're going to take it all away from you and give it to us. and the one who started this, i said to you favor that? if that's the result. he said i am in favor of democracy, but maybe not right now. [laughter] so you see, it's like a tiger by the tail. so you start looking at the other side, and they are afraid of a certain kind of chaos or of a certain kind of, and so
somehow you have to, you have to, now that, that is partly, that fear is partly but not completely sort of dampened or something by the parts of the constitution that guarantees probably. they can't just take it away from you. when i think about it they could think about the way. [laughter] so you see, it's a need to find ways to take the fears of different people. i heard this last night on npr. listening to jane harman, and she was talking something about in egypt where they are trying to write a constitution. she said the liberals walked out, and she had told the liberals, go back in that room. don't stay out of the room. listen to what people are saying. and if you have to make a
compromise, you do. but moving along. move it along. and that was what she said. i thought, well, you know, there's quite a lot to the. anyway, that was -- >> [inaudible] [speaking chinese] >> translator: before and asked the question i want to talk, two points what my feelings was broke. was published in america in english. china doesn't have freedom of
press, and the judiciary is not independent. secondly, i am from -- i'm a common lawyer in china. not a split, my personality, and i do one year a lost of law field and they do one year of common lawyer. that's how i can afford buying business suits. china is a very common country, with america. americans can hardly imagine our situation. 24 years ago i was like a basically, i followed the government rules. i have a mentally, kind of ignorance. at that time my values, my perspectives told me at the time
it's correct, to support our system. the history told us americans imperialists. when i listen, when i heard that part of the story i was so angry. then after i studied law, after i entered law school, then i learned totally that's, maybe your system is the best. i don't know whether god has created a better one, i don't know. so let me say boldly, make the statement. right now, i am someone who accept universal values now. as an individual, a humble man, a humble individual. however, we know 1.3 billion
people in china, how many folks can reach this level, like my level? it's not that easy. so how, my question, i'm going to raise my question. it's not brookings institution, probably is a very popular to talk about chinese leadership and chinese law. the question is how, for this people who still to understand law, who still have accepted universal valley, how to make them understand what is law, what is rule of law? and why humans should deal with each other in this way? the professor said, so i learned one word in english, seek the
scan from a tiger. >> so what can you influence than? they know they cannot be influenced. so what are we trying to influence your? now, and my family when i was fighting my parents, i couldn't win over over them because they were my parents. because when they see how i should look, i have to look. so my question, sir, the brookings institution, how, by what kind of steps that you will be able to allow the regular people, ordinary people, to really feel and understand the rule of law? and why do we need the rule of law? >> well, i don't have more of an attitude that.
you keep doing what you're doing. you keep doing it. you just keep doing it. i mean, when i talk to -- sandra o'connor, one of my colleagues, you know, she, and kennedy, all of us feel very strongly about in the united states the fact that teenagers and high school students are not learning civics. i don't know how the government of the united states works. and so she spends a lot of her time trying to develop programs on computers, on television that you could send into the classrooms. so they would understand. none of us think that the rule of law is the american system in its entirety. we think the fact that people will apply and follow a rule of law is one thing that we think, i think him and i think as
people think about it think, is a national treasure. but it's a treasure that's developed, and that's been my point, over many, many many years, with many setbacks along the way. and, of course, in my own mind there's no way of maintaining it without teaching the next generation, generation after that, and that means teaching. it doesn't mean propaganda. it means giving them a chance to discuss these things, how the system works, to participate, one of the things we should do when i grew up in san francisco was we would have a day called using government day, and i would, everybody in the class would get to go down and sort of shadowed a member of the board of supervisors of the mayor or the city attorney are somebody and see what his job was like. and what a good thing that was. i remember that. and one of the reasons,
architecture that i was in china, but one of the things i thought was great in architecture is in australia, they have changed now, but they built a parliament. and this parliament, whatever architecture reason, it goes up like this. it's huge, and the building goes down almost to the ground and it's covered with grass, the whole ceiling. so what the children, would come in droves in the buses and they would go to the top and they would go down like that. and i thought what a good idea. the association in their mind will be this democratic government of australia, and it has a place where i can go and roll downhill, so they'll have a positive association and it will make you more interested and they will learn about it. so i'm just pointing out there is no single technique, but ultimately it does depend on building the support for this idea. which means explain, which
debating, which means discussing, which means the press eventually come to their shows everybody what's going on. and if there had been people there, perhaps i think that report on things, maybe some of the terrible things that had happened in the world in the 20th century. >> my name is lauren. i'm an attorney here in d.c., and i been working on rule of law for many years, fresh out of china. probably a great threat right now, the chinese leadership feels is instability. and social disharmony. and i think the chinese people also have an experience, particularly lawyers, a lot of
very difficult things, including being jailed and turnout of the legal profession as they've attempted to bring about the rule of law. and, of course, their own country, lawyers have experience a lot of pain in the civil rights movement. so my question is, in line with the comment about practical steps, what would be a facing of the introduction of the rule of law that might be suggested to the chinese government and to chinese political and legal leaders as a way to avoid these calamitous events and bring about the rule of law? >> can you suggest to them that they pay the judges and say we will reducers our, we won't fire you? they might be willing to do that. and after they did that, you know, judges would love it, and nobody else would like it. but i mean, they would do, or maybe they would say we have an
administrative law grow here. by the way, let's have all the corporate cities on television. the proceeding, i'm not saying the deliberations. why don't he they do that? let's not get into that. 5 let's have the trials and all those things. they do that. maybe they would, or maybe, what about this arbitration resolving business differences, would you be willing to take some the judges? after all, you're not paying them and you can't fire them, let them do some work. why do they come over here and handle some of the arbitration cases? and why do we do it according to republish schools. i mean, there's so many things, publicity and you don't have to do everything at once. and so broke, she's a wonderful person, and she sent us a film from china which we looked at, and it was a school, fifth grade, and the fifth graders had
been, they suggested the government, the government suggested you can have our election with them are in the class, and they did a film, and it's absolutely priceless. i mean, the parents, they didn't have to do it because the teachers were not shy to do it. they would make this mistake or that little thing and they would have this comical elements but the students got interested. they got interested. they ended up collecting a monitor. i'm how good the monitor was. but it was all right. it was all right. and so there are ways i think, which are more likely to think of that i am. of taking these different ideas and say try to settle here or try it out over there. you are building the bar, and it's true that there are, none of these things, everything has its drawbacks. move along.
>> final two questions. this gentleman right here, and back their. >> ninety. i've been involved in studying practicing chinese law for the last 45 years. i just want to say on a positive note you, justice breyer and also i think others talked and plenty differently which about changing a legal culture in china. and it wanted to mention one incremental kind of incremental improvement that doesn't come from the top, but from lower down. i was at a meeting last year to discuss administrative law reform, and we were told that the central government still does not want to pass a nationwide administrative procedure act. one was drafted in 2003, and it was rejected because it was too much of a professor's law, so-called, because the drafters look very hard at the american procedures act. said has been lying around, as has a draft administrative
litigation law, also been lying around. however, the leadership has the notion of local extreme edition. and i was very interested to learn that two provinces have adopted the regulations, namely -- and i went there and heard the mayor of a fairly large city talk at what he had learned as a mayor. he'd been a central government official before he was posted down and he realized once he got there, the central government officials don't really understand the lives of ordinary people. and then he began to watch the proceedings, the process of drafting the local administrative procedure regulation, and he came to understand the importance of procedural justice that was one of the first times in 35, 40 years of going to china at her to chinese talk about procedural justice. i think that the term is in the
vocabulary, and i think that local experimentation may at least help in the incremental building of a changed legal culture. >> that is supposed to be one of the virtues of the american federal system, is called the brandeis, called the laboratories of experiment. now, one problem with having the population of 1.3 billion is it a very big population. it's hard to govern. at one virtue of is you can divide into parts and provinces, and you really can have real experiments. try this over here, try that over there. that's a tremendous virtue. and i read in your book, well, you have the confusion tradition which has morality is what's important. and not necessarily the law. yes, but now with 1.3 billion people, of course morality is important. but how do you create a system
that is moral? how do you people to feel that they can follow the rules of morality? perhaps when they were just a small number and everyone was closely knit in family, you can just rely on the family. but in today's world everywhere with television, and the computers and everybody working hard all the time, maybe you can't. so maybe you can get to the confucianism going to have to use the rule of law means. i don't know if it's possible. but any, all these things you can experiment. and that's really, that's such a plot. that's a plot. >> final question right here. >> [inaudible] >> who has the microphone? [speaking chinese] >> i'm a chinese lawyer, so maybe not the met with china. my first thing, i think you can
certainly answer -- [inaudible] a case come to the supreme court -- [inaudible] then how to make a decision. in other eight studies, each of the decision, in 44, results -- [inaudible] >> there is a row on the. it's normally all nine participate. and, therefore, is not goingo be 4-4. but if one person were disquaedy' only eight, then if it splits 4-4, the lower court decision is automatically affirmed. >> thank you. >> so we are at end. i want to just make one minute of closing remarks by thanking all of you for coming, thank my colleagues at brookings are putting on a wonderful program. thanking jerry, paul and bill for your wonderful contributions. and we could a page in ohio compliment than to finish by having justice breyer here.
>> you don't always find many newspaper editors in any era embracing investigative reporting. the point we've seen over the years, it's not just economics, it's discomfort that investigative reporting often causes in the newsroom. because it's trouble. it's about more than economics. if you're going to ruffle the feathers of someone powerful, that gets those people run into complaint to the publisher, and their stories are legion over the years but not those kinds of things happening. we were fortunate all thought the '70s and really almost all our careers to work for people who are really strong and upright in that area, and let the chips fall where they may.
>> they will take your calls and e-mails and tweets next month on in depth, the pair to begin the collaborative work in the '70s are the co-authors of eight books. they are ladies, betrayal of the american dream. watch live sunday january 6 at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. >> former florida governor charlie crist says the sunshine state has become a quote late-night tv jokes. because of its election laws. before this election, florida reduce the number of early voting days and put restrictions on voter registration. the former governor testified about voting restrictions before the senate judiciary committee, along with the secretary of state of iowa and arizona. >> i'm told that senator grassley is on his way. i'm going to start. and, of course, in our nation
has grown stronger since its founding since more americans are able to exercise their right to vote. reaction taken by previous generations through a civil war, through constitutional amendments -- senator grassley is here -- the long struggles of the civil rights movement work to break down barriers, stood in way of all americans by participating in our democracy. as the song last months election, our work is far from done. barriers to voting continue to exist and evolves. in my state of vermont where we have a town meeting, open participation, democracy, vermonters cannot understand why there is this barrier to voting. you know, the right to vote, ma have your vote count is a
foundational right as the security of the other protections of law in the constitution. before the election we had a hearing to -- barry on write-in votes. held by senator ben in florida and ohio. we are testament about the renewed effort in many states, denied millions of americans access to the ballot box and voter identification laws. i was concerned these barriers would stand between millions of americans an about box. what we saw during the election showed that we are right to be concerned. purges of voter rolls, restrictions on voter registration, limitations under early voting, which in previous elections in april millions to vote. lead to unnecessary problems on election day. you had owners confusing
requirement, competition in places like pennsylvania. arizona, texas, south carolina. throughout the country, political advertising, robocall's were so confusion and suppressed the vote. just because millions of americans successfully overcame a abusive practices in order to cast their ballot, that doesn't make these practices right. does not justify the burdens that prevented millions more from being able to vote. barriers are reminders of the time when discriminatory practices such as poll taxes, literacy tax, grandfather clauses were commonplace. those have no place in 21st century america. the constitution is for all of
us, insuring all americans are able to vote and have their vote counted, should be an issue of concern to democrats and republicans. it should be an matter of conscience for us, regardless of what political party we belong to. so it was no such is ago, republicans democrats stood on the capital steps to reaffirm our commitment to full full democratic because a patient. we reauthorize the key provisions of the voting rights act of 1965. our work in 2006 reinvigorate reauthorized, stood in stark contrast to the tremendous resistance of the bitter politics which met the initial landmark law. after nearly 20 hearings in this committee, and the house judiciary committee, we found in section five of the voting rights act continue to be affected and the necessary tool for protecting voting rights among modern-day barriers to
voting. legislation contained specific parts without the need for reauthorization conclude that without reauthorization they gains we made would be undermined. our efforts reach completion when president bush signed into law after unanimous vote in the senate, nearly unanimous vote in as. the supreme court got the supreme court direct for years ago when it upheld a challenge to the causation authority of congress to reauthorize section five. next year the supreme court will have a similar challenge. and the worst of the constitution nor the importance of these critical provisions for protecting rights has changed the last few years. under the specific words of the 14th and 15th amendment, congress has the power to remedy discrimination, and force these amendments by enacting laws that address racial discrimination connected to voting. first genetically six years ago. a transfer in by ushering the
nation and our history. an era of greater inclusion. we can't turn away from our commitment to the right to vote for all americans, all americans, every single american, republican, democrat, independent, no matter who they are. i think our witnesses for being here. i will turn to senator grassley, but i do want to mention again what a great service senator durbin did in holding these hearings. extremely important, and i know senator nelson is here today, but senator grassley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and also to all of our witnesses. this is very importantly during, because voting is a vital part of citizenship and a right of citizenship. it seems to me today that in any election, or in any discussion of voting rights, the term
suppression, on the one hand, or disenfranchisement on the other, are thrown about. sometimes in a cavalier fashion. that approach is not helpful to protecting voting rights. the history of voting in this country was expand with great effort, and sometimes with great bloodshed. those who oppose expanding the franchise to our fellow citizens sometimes use force and trickery. comparing commonsense voter id requirements, which enjoys the support of three force of the electorate, and even a majority of the democrats, to poll taxes are worse, trivializes the sufferings of millions of americans who were denied the right to vote. we also hear that voting should be expanded, in any way possible, and the fewer the restrictions on voting, the better. we should never trivialize
efforts to expand the voter rolls, but we should make sure that those people that get on the voter rolls are entitled to be there. but fraud does exist. it will be discussed at this hearing. and it will get worse if the only response is denial. the states are justify taking measures to deter potential fraud, as to prosecute actual fraud. earlier this year the pew center of states issued a report that found that there are 24 million voter registrations in this country, that are no longer valid or inaccurate. who can justify that? it concluded that there are almost 3 million individuals who are registered vote in multiple states. who can justify that? tens of thousands are registered to vote in three or more states.
who can justify that? the study also identified close to 2 million dead people on the voter roll. who can justify that? nbc news than 25,000 names of likely deceased voters on california rolls. who can justify that? some voted years after they died. one woman who died in 2004 voted in 2008 and 2012. who can justify that? a man who died in 2001 has voted eight times since 2005. who can justify that? "the new york times" recently wrote that in florida, quote, as he ballot scandal seemed to arrive like clockwork. end of quote. i am pleased that two secretaries of state are with us today. i welcome i was secretary of state, matt schulz, state election officials are well-versed on the procedures that are needed to run their elections.
conscientious state officials such as my secretary of state have sought to remove noncitizens from the voter rolls. federal officials did not assist them in ensuring that legal holes are not honored by the counting of votes from ineligible voters. in fact, the department fact the department of homeland security did all he could to prevent maintaining integrity of voting roll. we will hear that turnout rises when ballot integrity is fostered. states have a fair amount of discretion in how they choose to run elections. early voting has grown in popularity. but there's a cost even beyond the lack of a common civic engagement on election day. and i look forward to this hearing, and hope that we get an answer to these questions. but circumstances could change, or new arguments or new deliberations could lead someone to later wish to have voted differently. that's one of the issues with the early vote. there should not be a one way
ratchet in which states that experiment with losing voting rules can never try another approach. of course, apparently neutral voting changes can hide bad motives. i voted to reauthorize the voter rights act. in fact, i with them as new member of this committee in 1981 when the reauthorization was up, i think for the first time, i went to senator biden and said, i'd like to help you. i think he said, i think he probably said he wanted help. but at the time, republicans which is taking over the senate everybody thought we were going to reauthorize. and senator biden -- senator biden said -- okay, i want to finish my story. he -- i don't think he believe me, but for five months later the bill was going through the senate, he says, you know, you were true in your wanted to help was reauthorize this.
because voting is the basis of our representative system of government and it ought to be reserved for all people. but nobody's vote should be diluted by people who are not eligible to vote, voting. i yield the floor. >> thank you very much, and you are a stalwart then, and one of the reasons why senator grassley and i have been such good friends all these years. i have to go to the floor to administer an appropriations bill. those on the appropriations committee. and senator durbin has agreed to take over the hearing and will have statements for the record from senator warner. and also from other organizations. they will be placed prior to the record, but senator durbin has been so stalwart on this, and i'm wondering, senator durbin, if you take my place here in the
chair and senator grassley, thank you all so. >> [inaudible] >> i think you're a stalwart, too, senator grassley. thank you all for being a bit i will just take a brief opening statement and invite mike cox if you'd like to do the same. i see senator nelson here, and i can recall going to tampa, florida, with senator nelson with a hearing of our subcommittee on constitution and civil rights. and if you will recall, the first panel of experts that we have from your home state of florida were election officials, democrats and republicans, and the first question i asked them was, what was the evidence of voter fraud and vote abuse that she believes led to these changes in the law restricting opportunities to vote in florida? and they said there were none. there were none. and asked them if they were prosecutions of voter fraud in
florida, caused a scandal that led to this, and they said no their work. it turns out they were almost none of it when of it when it came to actual prosecutions. i did the same thing in ohio with senator brown in cleveland. same witnesses, ohio election officials and questions -- same questions, same answers. it's come down to this. elections in america are supposed to be a contest between candidates with voters making the ultimate judgment. instead into many state elections become a contest between voters and special interest groups like alec, which are hell-bent on limiting the right of americans to vote. look what happened during this last election. things that i think need to be changed are embarrassing to us. how can we be satisfied with our fellow citizens stand in line for seven hours to vote until 2:30 a.m.? doesn't make sense for state legislatures to reduce early voting opportunities? and the flexibility many working
americans need to exercise their right to vote. how can we watch laws being passed in legislatures requiring identification which the legislators know full well that hundreds of thousands of people will never be able to obtain in time to vote? should we be to appointed by the increasing number of increasing number of ballots issued? the fact that its disproportionate number of those ballots, provisional ballot were given to minority voters in the united states of america? is it really necessary to threaten high school teachers with criminal conviction and thousand dollar fines just for offering to help students register to vote? that was the reality of this election cycle. that is the challenge to us. i know there are many other things i can speak to, but i do believe we've got to be honest in this coming congress. i believe that when it comes to federal elections we have a federal responsibility to make sure that qualified voters don't
have obstacles thrown in their path and to those who will, i hope you took a lesson from november 6. there were people who stood there for seven hours to defy you, to tell you that every obstacle you through in their path was another challenge for them to stand and vote and be counted, whatever the time, whatever the cost. thank goodness they did. it was a reaffirmation of who we are as americans. senator whitehouse? >> thank you, chairman. i would just speak very pretty but i'm delighted that we're having this hearing, the right to vote is perhaps the basic american right. it is the anchor of our democracy, and, unfortunately, i believe it is being challenged. i think the modern day republican party has a problem, which is that most of the goals of the party are ones that
americans don't support. and so they have to resort to strategies to try to push their agenda that allow them to get around the problem that most americans don't support the radical tea party agenda. those include using hostage steering type negotiating tactics in the legislature. we saw that with the debt limit. we're seeing it right now with the fiscal cliff. it's like you give us things the american people doesn't what we would do something worse to the country, is fundamentally a threat to there. and we have seen with voter suppression. we've seen over and over with voter suppression. election after election with voter suppression, and i have the greatest respect and admiration for the ranking member, but if you think that voter suppression is actually the appropriate term to use. as a former prosecutor we sometimes look at the question of motives when you're looking at, only one element but you do look at motives. the most i think has long been
established by the republican party in the voter caging cases. in which they have been put under court order to stop, cease-and-desist the practice of trying to clear voters off the rolls through voter caging efforts dedicator are directed at, particularly minority communities. so i think is a very live issue that i think it's a very important issue. it's about our democracy and i'm delighted we're having this hearing. where not only my view, but the distinguished ranking member reviews and others can all be ventilated here. >> senator coons. >> thank you. thank for the opportunity to join you in this important hearing today. like all of us, i watched the outcome on the night of the election him and then for days afterwards, with a sinking heart, and with growing concerns as someone who treasures the right to vote and who believes as in all of us do, republican and democrat, it is one of the most fundamental civil rights in
the united states. what we've seen is a steady whittling away of the opportunity to actually exercise that right in meaningful ways. and the last election and over the last several elections there's a great concern. there's a number of bills that have been introduced. i'm a sponsor of one. a number of your cosponsor. senator gillibrand, senator boxer, a number of others. some seek as mine does to inspire a competition between states in partnership with the federal government to prove timeliness, access, accuracy. others mandate a federal standard i look forward to hearing from this range of witnesses today about the real impact on the ground. its impact on access to the ballot but its impact on outcomes, and the questions that are raises in my view about the voting rights act. we don't yet know the supreme court's path. but it think regardless of what happens in the upcoming supreme court case, this committee, this congress has a duty, in my view,
to reauthorize the strengthen and extend the voting rights act in a way that takes into account the very real concerns about voting and accessing the right to vote in this country that this most recent election brought forth. thank you. >> we welcome our colleague, senator bill nelson. bill has just gone through an election contest in a state where this was an issue. and bill, please submit your testimony. give us a few words here to start our hearing. >> mr. chairman, thank you for your leadership. thank you for coming to florida so that you could receive direct testimony. you did that early in this year. and we have just closed a very ugly chapter in florida political history, a chapter that occurred over the last two years. of an attempt to suppress the rights of voters to suppress the
vote, and i want to bring you some proof today. first of all, i'd like to submit my written statement for the record. i do like to submit for the record a summary of what i'm about to say that came in the palm beach post in their sunday october 28, 2012 article, an investigative piece, and thirdly, i would like to submit for the record the deposition of an imminent mitchell the iv, serving as the general counsel for the florida republican par party, when he gave a deposition in the case styled state of florida versus the united states of america.
a deposition that was given earlier this year, when the state of florida sued the u.s. government for court determination of the preclearance under the voting rights act of 1965, preclearance of five counties, for discrimination, and further, sued the u.s. government by questioning the constitutionality of the 1965 voting rights act. in the discovery for that case, the testimony was taken of this former general counsel of the florida republican party. and what i would like you to know is this key individual who, with your permission, with the
committee's permission i'd like to insert those documents in the record -- that his testimony, given in april, mr. mitchell said, and it's in the sworn testimony, that he was asked to draft the original version of the legislation that became the law. he was asked to drafted by republican party leaders, specifically after consultations with andy palmer, then the executive director of the florida gop, frank, head of the gop state house campaigns, and joel springer, head of the state senate, republican campaigns. and in early talks with executive director of the florida gop.
and with this full testimony, you will see that there was a deliberate effort to change the election law of florida in order to do a number of things. now, it wasn't the first time that mr. mitchell's name has surfaced with voting related controversy. because back in the infamous 2000 election, when there was a state of florida's efforts to purge possible felons from the voter rolls, and that effort led to thousands of eligible voters being turned away at the polls during the presidential election year. because their names were removed from the polls. i said i said country thousands
of eligible voters who were perch. this later in election law was introduced and passed, in spite of the vehement opposition of the elections officials in the counties that conduct the elections. the supervisors of elections. they collectively, through their state association, and a wide array of other groups, had vehement opposition to the proposed bill that became law, reducing the number of early voting days from 14 to eight, which is very conveniently eliminated the sunday voting before the tuesday election, which a professor, dan smith, from the university of florida
testified at your hearing in tampa. in fact, that his investigation, is the university investigation found that there were two particular groups that utilized in the history of florida early voting over the previous decade sundays as the time that they voted. one was african-americans, and the other was hispanics. that was one thing the legislation did. the law also made voting harder for people who had moved from one county to another and had a different address. because when they showed up to the new voter registration, if they did not have in their documentation, such as their drivers license, which likely they had not updated from the
old address, it was a different county, they were not allowed a ballot. they were given a provisional ballot, and we know from the 2008 elections of the provisional ballots cast, one half of them in 2008 were thrown out. now, as a result of the new voter suppression law, you've already stated, mr. chairman, long lines an avalanche of provisional ballots, court challenges, all of it has come to pass. you're going to have to draw your own conclusions, mr. chairman, and this committee, but is pretty straightforward for the senior senator from florida. florida's 2811 election law changes were politically motivated by the documents that
i submit today, and they were clearly designed to disenfranchise likely democratic voters, and not as the republican sponsors in the legislature contented, to prevent voter fraud. you will see in the documentation where mr. mitchell, when asked directly, do you think that voter fraud is a problem? he says no. when asked on voter registration and a limited organizations like the league of women voters, for a year and a half to stop the registration of voters, because it changed the previous law from 10 days to turn in the names, to 48 hours, which also added a huge fine for the person
collecting the signatures if they didn't get it in in 48 hours. by the way, 48 hours included saturdays and sundays. and when asked in this deposition did, in fact, you think that 48 hours was long enough, he says no. he felt comfortable with the 10 days. and so, mr. chairman, i thank you for the opportunity that i can bring this documentation to you, setting the stage for testimony that will follow me by the panel. and don't forget that what i'm telling you about that happened in florida, took place against a backdrop of a broader republican-led campaign to restrict voting in at least a dozen states.
and those were states that were controlled by the republicans, and they approve new obstacles to voting as part of a campaign that was linked to the american legislative exchange counsel, alec, which receives substantial funding from the koch brothers. and so, mr. chairman, i conclude by saying singling out americans, stopping those, are trying to stop those as they filled in florida because of the seven hours that they stood in line that you already noted, in trying to stop them from going to the polls, this is against the american way. it's against one of our most precious rights, and it's against what is guaranteed to us by the constitution of the
united states. mr. chairman, i thank you for the privilege of being here. >> thank you, senator nelson. that documents referred to would be made a part of the record. we appreciate your testimony and your continuing interest in this issue. i would have liked to call the first panel of witnesses. if they would, please, come forward and stand for the traditional customary oath that is given in these hearings. please raise your right hand. [witnesses were sworn in] >> thank you. let the record reflect the witnesses all answered in the affirmative. and i'm going to start with governor charlie crist, served as governor of the state of florida from 2007-2011. under governor crist's leadership florida passed a number of laws, relating to voting, and clearly florida has
been front and center as the beginning of our discussion in this committee today. we welcome your testimony. your entire written statement and any documentation you would like to submit will be made a part of the record without objection, so please proceed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, ranking member grassley, and thank you, members of the judiciary committee for inviting me to testify today on what is the most fundamental of rights for our fellow americans, the right to self-determination through voting. quite literally, we are here today because just over 236 years ago, 56 brave american patriots signed their lives away by declaring independence from great britain in the name of also lived in the colonies. at the core of their statement, our declaration of independence, quote we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.
among these are life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. embodies the simple principle that every day americans, the people who we all represent hold the power. the government is truly for the people, by the people, and not the other way around. in fairness, they didn't get it totally right at the beginning. far to many americans were initially denied the right to vote. and far too many more died in the ensuing battles to ensure that every american adult would have the right to participate in self-determination. but throughout the history of this great nation, whether through laws or conflicts, america has always taken steps forward to make voting easier and more accessible. well, until this year. for a good part of my adult life, i was employed in the service of the people of the great state of florida.
a state that has had more than its fair share of voting drama. for four of those years i had a truly humbling privilege of serving as florida's governor, and during those four years, we undertook some important steps to make it easier for floridians to vote. we've used the states vote imail laws to make it easier for floridians to choose to go from the comfort of their home. we instituted a standard 14 days of in person early voting. we made paper ballots mandatory to ensure that it would be a record in the case of the recount. we streamlined the system so floridians who have paid their and higher debt to society could regain the right to vote and have their rights restored. and when, during the historic election of 2008, long lines at early voting sites lead to some floridians waiting many hours to cast a ballot, i as governor signed an executive order extending early voting hours so that no floridian would be faced
unnecessary confusion and suppression on election day. in addition the state tried to purge nearly 200,000 legal floridians from the polls. thankfully, public pressure as well as the justice department forced the state to back down. the outcome of these decisions was quite obvious. florida which for years earlier was a model for efficiency became once again a late night tv joke. voters that wanted to vote early were subject to lines of three or four hours of governor scott refused to take over the headlines for six or seven hours. election the confusion led to the lines on election day itself
which played a role in florida remaining in the undecided category until thursday some two days after the last ballot was cast. thankfully this time the presidency didn't hang in the balance. senators, as you spend time thinking about how we can make voting more easily accessible, i would encourage you to think long and hard about a solution that national standards that would ensure links the in person voting as well as common sense provisions and i leave you once again with the words of our founding fathers government instituted among men and women want the driving their powers from the consent of the governed ladies and gentlemen, we work for them. we offer a ourselves to their service and the choose and as any of us know that have lost well known you don't always like the outcome but that's how it
works. in the end america wins and democracy thrives. when more people vote. thank you again for the invitation. i look forward to the discussion. >> thanks, governor. the next witness is secretary of state matt schultz as the secretary of state in the country currently serving as first term. he was elected in the office in 2005 as a city councilman in council bluffs where he was elected and served a total of five years. secretary shultz, thank you for coming and please, in a written testimony that you have will become a part of the record and i would like to take five minutes or whatever you can use for your thoughts on this issue. >> thank you mr. sherman. my name is matt schultz the secretary of state of iowa and i appreciate the opportunity to testify before the committee today and i want to thank senator grassley for extending the invitation before the committee. i was elected in 2010 fighting for election integrity was a
cornerstone of my campaign to the it seems clear a lack of confidence in the integrity of elections is one of the reasons people do not vote. some believe their votes do not matter and that is the true cause of the voter suppression across this country. we have seen that measure adopted and protect the integrity of elections such as voter identification law has led to an increase in voter participation. opponents of the measures frequently claim those meant to enhance the integrity are suppressing the growth yet they offer no evidence to support their claims only the theories cloaked in political rhetoric. the truth is when he election officials take steps to secure the integrity and safety of the ballot box, confidence in the outcome rises and voter participation increases. i was nationally known for having a model election system. however as with any system there is room for improvement and i've been advocating for those improvements for the past two years. one of my initiatives involves an agreement with the iowa department of public safety to have a special agent from the
eye or a division of investigation from science to investigate misconduct. the agent is conducting multiple investigations into the ballot fraud, voting by individuals who are ineligible and the double voting. since august of 2012 they have been filed in the conduct cases based on information received from my staff, the local election officials and members of the public. anyone who says voter fraud does not exist should like the numbers produced in the short months. we all know that criminal investigations take time and we expect more charges related to the misconduct to be filed in the coming months. in our efforts to insure integrity my office has taken several steps to maintain accurate voting lists in order to prevent people from taking advantage and election system. first, iowa has won numerous states participating in the project. the purpose of which is to identify voters that may be registered or voting in more than one state.
second, i love match of the voting registration records with the social security administration more than 3,000 individuals identified were deceased and registered to vote. finally my office compared a non-citizens with a driver's license to iowa's voter registration database and this country as a result of the unfortunate discovery that i allow potentially had thousands of non-citizens who were registered to vote and over a thousand of them and have cast the ballots. in determining how to proceed in light of this information, i recognize the delicate balance between the need for integrity in our elections and the fundamental right of the voters to participate in the process. thus is was important to proceed with utmost caution to ensure that no citizen's right to vote was in properly challenged. as such my office attempted to work in the department of homeland security over several months to develop a system that would enable us to enact appropriate measures in dealing with this issue. we realized it was likely some of the individuals identified
during this process subsequently might have become naturalized citizens of the united states there for a vital part of the war effort was to gain access to the systematic alien verification and entitlement database. our intent was to determine if those individuals who identified as being on the citizens were indeed still c'mon citizens. throughout this process i've worked with our democratic attorney general tom miller in a bipartisan manner to ensure that iowa maintains a delicate balance between voters' rights and election integrity. while some states found the balance difficult to navigate and i ll we have worked hard to achieve this result. attorney general miller supported my efforts and recently said that, quote, his goal, my goal of the fog of the intimidation end of quote. creates this effort to prevent non-citizens from equally voting continually arguing voters are being suppressed and i pleased
to sit before you and report on eli had the largest voter turnout in the state's history. this shows election integrity giffords didn't have a effect in iowa and that is the result of working together across party lines. again, thank you mr. chairman and members of the committee of the opportunities and i would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you very much, secretary shultz. appreciate your testimony and we will have some questions. i would now like to recognize the honorable hunter who is here today representing this of carolina house of representatives where she's been a representative from orangeburg county district 66 for over 21 years. she's also the first african-american woman in orange county ever selected the statewide office. thanks for joining us today. the floor is yours and any stick to a written statement will be made a part of the record. >> thank you, senator. good morning and thank you as
well and to the ranking member grassley and all the other members of this committee. i really appreciate you all have in this hearing, and i hear really to paint a face on a lot of information that you have led to hopefully make this real so that you understand as you deliberate the importance of the voting rights act that there are actual people who are affected by this. i am here in my capacity as a federal legislator to talk specifically about south carolina and about the implementation of the voting rights act and how i want to offer two examples to show how important it is. first of course are our efforts to enjoy it to the voter i.d. bill. the ranking member talked about a common sense voter i.d. bill, and i would assure you those of us in south carolina that oppose this legislation would agree
that common sense voter i.d. bills are certainly things that are important. we would argue that the legislation that passed in the south carolina wasn't a common sense bill. and i would like to tell you why. i represent a district that is 63% black, over 97 percent of my students are on free and reduced lunches. a lot of my constituents were born on farms, they were delivered by midwives. it sounds easy to say a free i.t. and was offered to our state, it is more complicated than that. there are a number of documents that are required to get a free ied birth certificate for example. when you live in a rural community it is very difficult if you are 70 miles away from the county seat to have to pay
that 70 miles round-trip to have to pay someone to take you to the health department, to the dmv or to the office to get that. so there are areas there that i think is important for us to keep their mind. i am here because were it not the section 5 of the voting rights act this notion of reasonable in pediment that is the part of the south carolina statute would still be there. it was only because of the pre-clearance that is required under section five of the voting rights act, and it is only because south carolina was forced to have this air before the judge panel that we got some expansion of that definition at the trial. it's important in my opinion to note that when we talk about south carolina that we need to
understand the importance of the patterns in history of racism and discrimination that unfortunately we are still suffering. there are a number of things that suggested that we lead in a post racial society. i would respectfully suggest to you that that is not the case in south carolina. i want to just kind of bring closure to my comments that suggest to you that i have submitted written testimony that expands what i think are the important points and i've chosen to take this opportunity to just talk with you a bit about the district for the people that were there. i would assure you that the communities of color in south carolina and across these countries take the right to vote very seriously. there is no sentiment in my community or any other community
that i am aware of for tolerating the voter fraud. i would point out to you, mr. chair and others of this committee that it is in south carolina when we deliberate this legislation and the question of the voter impersonation for using an ied was pos there wasn't one example was cited and with what senator nelson talked about in the state of florida. so i would encourage you to recognize the importance of the voting right act and to recognize that it has a function of preventing discrimination publicly before it takes root and in the case of south carolina it most certainly did that. i don't think it is too strong a language to say that the legislation was a poll tax and
its implemented in our state. thank you for the opportunity. >> thank you very much, representative. we appreciate your testimony and there will be questions to follow. the next witness is ken benet that serves as the secretary of state since 2009 and previously served as the president of the arizona state senate for four years and was the chief executive officer of the bioenergy. it was made a part of our record. we invite you now for your testimony to submit any written testimony that you would like for the record. >> thank you for allowing me to be here today. i have submitted written testimony and ask that it be accepted but i will speak more from the heart and tell you what is going on in arizona. i would give the thoughts and prayers of arizona to the folks in connecticut. having experienced not as large but a similar with representative deferreds who sat
next to me on the floor of the senate our hearts and thoughts got to them. even though the secretary of state is the chief election officials in arizona, the real work mostly is, the county level. within our 15 counties we have the election directors who are very bipartisan, multi partisan coming and work across party lines with them, their counties and across the county lines to try to make sure that every arizonan that is eligible to vote gets to vote. we have a very dedicated people what the county levels since kind of a misnomer to say the chief elections officials is that the state and people get the idea of the state wins elections and it's really the counties to the arizona has been served very well by having local officials elected by their friends and neighbors in those counties and communities that
conduct the elections and they are more than anyone else interested in making sure that all of their citizens who aren't eligible to vote get the right to do so and make it as convenient as possible. elections in arizona have been in one of four phases and i will go through each one. the first is the voter registration process. we have about 3.1 million registered voters in arizona that still slightly from the high point a couple of years ago as a little over 3.2. most of that drop occurred the planning at in 2011. her federal and state legislation. i know of no complaints or thoughts that anyone was removed or purged in fact it wasn't, it was the normal cleaning of the federal and state law. arizona was the first to allow online voter registration almost 80% occurred through the process
and goes through the department of motor vehicles. we also allow the permanent early voting list where voters can be on the list and can be mailed of the ballot for every election they are eligible to vote without having to request each time. for the last 40 years, arizona's voter participation in the elections has been very steady around the 75 percent level. this year we were at 74.6% i think it was. in 2000 for the citizens of the state did pass a proof of citizenship and ideal proposed legislation that we have been implementing and i would agree that our fundamental birthrate is the right to vote to the fighting closely behind it is the right to know our vote is not being cancelled out or offset by anybody that is not allowed to vote or eligible to vote. second part of our system is how
candidates get on the ballot. i don't think that there is anything unique about arizona. we had a couple of redistricting issues and a couple of congress people combine the same district in that we have some challenges there but we worked all through those. the third phase in the system is how to get about what to the voters and get them back. in arizona about two-thirds of our voters vote by mail. most of them on this permanent early voting list. the other if there is still enjoyed going to the polls and they reject it within the last ten years a ballot proposition to go to all male elections and so we have about two-thirds the vote by mail and one-third that go to the polls. this year we had a significant reduction in the numbers that went to the polls and have to come back to show ied to read a dropped by almost half. and then i see my time is quickly going away through the
phase that is the counting of ballots and we focus on two things come accuracy and the inclusion of as many as possible. i personally sat with officials and volunteers and identifying when somebody spilled something on their ballett tens of thousands of ballots to duplicate it so that we can include and cowan & lobel that of every eligible voter. as far as accuracy we had a unique situation. i will conclude very briefly to years ago we had the first recount of the statewide election in the state's history. one of the ballot measures was losing by about 126 votes out of over 1.8 million votes cast for or against that about major. to make a long store count as a graduate i began to fear that when we did the every count which the state law says if you have to have a recount of it is less than 200 difference between
the winner and loser. i realize if we were 99% accurate and every count, we could be off by about 18,000 votes by the first count. if we were 99.9% accurate, it would be 1,800 or 99.99% accurate. 180 still in excess of the difference between the yes and no. when it's all said and done the vote total on the second recount the 66 votes of 1.8 million or accuracy percentage as 99.4%. our goal was to have the best system in the world. we are on the way there. we are not perfect. we have a lot of improvements that we need individuals from both parties that are working hard to make sure every year is, that is eligible to vote can and does so. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> the vice president of litigation from the mexican
defense and education fund. she is well known in the civil-rights community for the work on voting rights and the cases include lack versus perry and challenged texas congressional redistricting which she led through the trial and appeal to the supreme court. the floor is yours. >> members of the judiciary committee thank you for inviting me to testify today. today latinos constitute the largest racial minority group in the united states. over the past decade the number of latino eligible voters, a u.s. citizen adel increased from 13 million to 21 million. as the latino and other racial minority communities of grown and expanded the u.s. electorate, some states have attempted to slow the registration and participation of new voters. for example, arizona adopted a new law in 2004 that changed the voter registration rules to require only new boulder registrants to provide dhaka entry proof of the u.s.
citizenship. proposition 200 as it is called has had broad - impact on the voter registration across arizona. falling and that none of law over 30,000 individuals or reject it for the voter registration. proposition 200 special burdens on natural u.s. citizens. although the registrant are encouraged to link their driver's license number on the registration form a naturalized citizens who obtain their delivers licenses years earlier when they were permanent legal resident immigrants and unbeknownst to them were coded as foreigners in the driver's license data base our flag for the rejection of the voter registration applications. this often forces them to have to register twice, and sometimes even register in person because the naturalization certificate says on its base that it shouldn't be so copied. the ninth circuit sitting on the valley is inconsistent with the national voter registration act.
arizona's appeal is now pending in the u.s. supreme court. although proposition to wonder states that its purpose is to come back to the documented immigration arizona has not identified a single instance in which an undocumented immigrant registered or voted in arizona. in texas in 2011 the legislature enacted the to restrict voter i.d. law in the nation. the law hasn't gone into effect however because the federal court in washington, d.c. concluded that it violated the federal voting rights act. texas already has a voter i.d. requirement. the 2011 law reduced the list of acceptable i.t. eliminating for example the voter registration cards, birth certificates, student i.d. cards issued from state universities and in plant and identification cards with photos. although there is no logical connection between the citizenship and holding a driver's license during the night of the texas border by the law, elected officials consistently affirmed that a stay issued photo voter i.d. law
was needed to prevent non-citizens from voting in the testimony in the fri case the state representatives when asked about the specific instances that she knew of of the voter fraud described one instance in which she saw a hispanic and spanish-speaking woman that needed assistance loading the representative offers this incident as an example of the voter fraud despite the fact that she also testified she has no knowledge whether it was a citizen or not only that she was hispanic. in 22 of coloradan launched a voter purchase of to have thousands of non-citizens from the role. in both cases the purchases were based on the same florida driver's license database searches that were found by the arizona federal court in 2008 to misclassify the naturalized citizens as non-citizens. both efforts after sending letters to thousands of voters threatening to remove them from the voter rolls for the
non-citizenship listened less than 200 voters in each state. in terms of identifying the actual non-citizens, the outcome was predicted the small. in miami-dade, 13 registrant's reported they were not citizens to those devotee in colorado, 14 voters were removed from foley and none had voted. despite the fact that latinos constituted 65% of the state's overall population over the past decade was there for the leading reason texas gave the foreign and congressional seats. the texas legislature enacted redistricting plans that intentionally thwarted the growing latino electorate there were blocked by federal court in washington, d.c. on the ground that both plants reduce the political strengths and the congressional redistricting plan was purposefully discriminatory on the basis of race although the registration and voting
rights still lag behind those of latino voters are steadily increasing in the number and achieving higher levels of the voter participation. state practices that seek to freeze in place the current electorates' and limit the entry of the voters can run afoul of the federal law as well as the constitution and fundamentally undemocratic. thank you for the opportunity. >> thank you for the testimony. i'd like to ask the officials here to follow. if we believe the voter fraud is a serious if not a kind a serious act that should be dealt with in terms of the policy in the law and if you believe such cases should be investigated and prosecuted because of the serious nature of those cases, i would like for both of you to give me the evidence in iowa and arizona of convictions for voter fraud that have led to your changes in the law.
>> do you mind if i go first mr. chairman? >> i think that is a great question and a difficult question and in some ways because it isn't until now that we have resources to even go after this. >> not until recently have we have resources dedicated towards an investigator to go in and do investigations into these crimes. >> so you are saying there was changed in iowa even before the investigation began? >> the law hasn't been changed in all iowa. let me address some of the concerns to bid on angola has early voting. the polls are open until seven to nine on election day. we do everything we can to encourage people to vote. the question is then when you have non-citizens that are registered to vote to have potential people double voting and the absentee fraud. >> do you have more on the citizens voting in iowa?
>> yeah since august of 2126 people have been arrested. >> all of those who had voted. >> i'm saying the total number of voters since 2012. >> it's a difficult question because we edify the 3,000 eda to non-citizens registered to vote but we were not sure if they were still not citizens. >> i'm guessing millions have voted. >> 1.6 million. >> there were six cases? >> no, that is what we have so far. we just started these investigations in august. >> let me ask mr. bennett the same question. you have heard the comments. it strikes me that there are legitimate questions as to why if the voter fraud is a serious issue you've decided to only ask for proof for a birth certificate of new voters as opposed to all. >> i think that means an incorrect picture of what the voters passed in 2004.
what they did is grandfather anyone who had a state driver's license or issues id before a certain cut off i think it was 1996 said that essentially everyone was grandfathered in and then as the new voters move around the asked to provide proof of citizenship. >> as to the evidence of the fraud we prosecuted 15 cases within the last 18 months or so of people who were found to have voted in an election and these were all the presidential elections of 08 voters who had been found to have voted in arizona in an election they also voted and of another state that we have counties that report to us that they remove hundreds of voters from the registration voter rolls monthly the report on forms the percent out to potential jurors that they are in fact not citizens and can't
serve on the jury, but when those questionnaires are reviewed by the county officials, hundreds of our found to also be on the voter rolls have to be removed from the role. >> i don't know of any curious connect 15 have been prosecuted. >> 15 have been prosecuted during the last 18 months or so. some companies put it in the november 6 election in arizonan? >> 2.3 million. >> i'd like you to take this to the obvious question. we are not looking to justify the voter fraud to make it easy for those that are ineligible to vote with. as the mekouar we to deal with this question do you believe in a fair fashion? >> thank you, senator. what we have learned through these efforts by the state some
of which have been described here that there really, really tiny numbers of from sporadic, isolated incidences where of people being registered when they are not eligible because of citizenships the numbers are consistent across the state less than ten, less than 20 and arizonan bennett had the opportunity came up with less than 20 most of whom were canadian by the way for some strange reason. and less than ten that voted so we know the numbers are very tiny and consistently small and in fact so small that even smaller than the 99.999 for the accuracy levels to the secretary is rightfully proud of in terms of the accuracy. contrast that with the efforts where thousands of letters have been sent to persons that had been a running easily identified as non-citizens because of the use of this lot driver's license
databases. i have to take one small issue with the secretary who said he had identified 3500 non-citizens using the driver's license. he did not. he identified 3500 people who work from citizens had the time the out and their drivers licenses and we know that since that time the overwhelming majority and perhaps all of them have become naturalized citizens. so any state at this point who undertakes to accuse people on citizenships based on driver's license rules of this isn't correct and shouldn't be done with. senator grassley did a wonderful job of describing all so much greater numbers of persons for example who are registered in more than one state, and these things ought to be approached in a very common sense and fair way with very individualized looks at people who might possibly be ineligible. but sending out thousands of letters to people accusing them
of law and citizenship, telling them they will be thrown off the rolls if they don't respond with paperwork within 30 days is not the way to go about it. >> my time is up, but i wanted to note one factor here. it's my information that is 8.3 come 8.4 million people cast their votes in the presidential election in florida in the president's margin was about 74,000 which is a very small margin. when i came down to florida, the thing that i found interesting was most of the legislative activity had been focused on the early voting in frustration as opposed to absentee voting. historical we had testimony in florida that republicans have used absentee voting much more effectively than democrats. democrats have used early voting. >> i've seen it. >> i bet you have. if you were out to stop voter fraud and believe that you have got to limit early voting, would it not also stand reason that he
would be making some limitations on the absentee voting and i don't believe that florida did. >> yes, sir, to answer your question in the affirmative, but i think that what all of us what are free, open and fair elections for everyone and i think the unfortunate thing that we have seen over the last couple of elections is the true interest groups like alex, a concerted effort to try to make it easier for one party to win over another coming and i think the greatest example of that, mr. sherman, is the elimination in my state of the sunday voting before the tuesday election of pointed this out in the testimony about in the specific community is generally you see the historic traditions of citizens that are hispanic or african-american and take the
opportunity to the plea after church on that sunday before the tuesday election to go to the polls. that was eliminated in my state in 2011. we had it in 2008. and what we did it to adjust to that this year was organized the effort to two sundays before the tuesday election and was pretty successful. but you pointed out something else that even when these roadblocks replacement. at first they were frustrated but i think ultimately it became infuriated that somebody was daring to try to take away their opportunity and put obstacles in place in front of them to simply to exercise this precious right to vote. and so in florida, even though the rates that have already been called for the presidency my fellow floridians, as i think you have indicated, continue to stay in line after the decision
had been concluded because they were not going to be denied the right to vote in that election and god bless them for that. >> thank you. senator grassley. >> thank you very much. thank you all for appearing and my own secretary of state for coming my first question would be to my secretary of state applauding my efforts to get non-citizens you thought were on the voting rolls that should be there and an opportunity to be heard before they were removed from the polls and i think your own attorney general has of your efforts word well-meaning but you have been unable, am i right, to remove the ineligible voters because you have received
no cooperation from the department of the homeland security. so i would like to give you an opportunity to describe your request for assistance from the department, their response and if they have shown any concern that ineligible voters may be diluting the votes of the citizen. >> thank you, senator. i think it goes back in march when we did this match and i would be very clear of the potential non-citizens unlike florida and other states we did not ask to have these people removed because we recognized there was a potential for these individuals that they may have when they got their driver's license to be non-citizens and then later they become citizens and voted and so we attempted to try to get access to the same database. the u.s. code is very clear that we should have access to that
information. and so, we started talking to their representatives in march and put our initial application in april and then it was a lot of back-and-forth. and until july when they finally said that they would give us access to. but then we didn't get access to it and we still haven't received access to it. now in all fairness, at bat -- inhofe late august we were sued by the aclu that we didn't prevent us from being a will to get access to the database what we would be able to do with it after that point and we haven't received access to the database. the discussions have just basically gone bats appointing because we are trying to do the right thing. we don't want to accuse somebody that is assisting the united states that they are not able to vote and they are not a citizen.
that same database gives us time and information on individual citizenship and would allow us to make sure to have the 3,500 eda two that we would be able to find out that who is a citizen and who isn't. we know what least six of those individuals were not citizens because the department of investigation did find that out through the investigative work that takes a lot of time we would have been able to have done this differently. >> governor the charge that the florida law suppressed voting and was designed to do so it's my understanding and brown that the court rejected the arguments finding that the voting changes had the effect of discriminating on the basis and that means the
court rejected the claim of the voter suppression. so isn't it the case then that the federal court rejected the argument of the floridians and maybe your argument as well with the florida law, quote, resulted in the suppression of the election day? >> perhaps by that interpretation. but i have the experience of having been in will miami gardens and miami-dade county as well as that in miami dade county during early voting and witnessing firsthand the lines created by wall that was passed in my state in 2011 and signed by the current governor. there were lines in the garden and was largely african-american three or four hours people had to wait to vote to win and over
and ventura on the scene after an. it required them to wait two and a half to three hours for early voting so i'm not sure what the court was looking at but i know what i salles and it was suppressive. 63. secretary bennett, can i ask i believe the voter ideals are common sense measures to prevent the voter fraud, secretary bennett, it is my understanding they have a variety lot from your experience and the other states have the adoption of the voter i.t. glock and minority turnout or maybe i should say turnout generally by think you ought to answer from the state will pick estimate we have the highest number of registered latinos in arizona and as a percentage of the total voter base now wait years after the adoption of the crop 200 that was mentioned.
so there is no evidence through arizona or approve of citizenship in order to registered has had a negative effect on minorities and we didn't collect ethnic data in any way the only way that we can ever do these studies is why exit polling. the surname valuations from the hispanic surname evaluation we have got latino voters of the population now will. they have the highest number of the total latino voters in arizona than we have ever had. two weeks ago i just met with the individuals the head of the organizations that large hispanic and latino voter
registration drives in arizona just between these organizations alone they've registered over 34,000 latino voters in a matter of weeks and a couple of months may be for and the voter turnout was is higher than it has ever been from that group. >> thank you all woo-hoo. 63, senator. i would like to thank you for your testimony and determination to make sure that we have a free, fair, open electoral system in the united states. it seems that the core issue of this hearing is one of balance and one of understanding consequences and scale. as senator byrd and i think rather poignantly pointed to the state election officials the voter integrity, vote integrity is a critical issue. but you can only point to a handful of instances where there are real demonstrated challenges. and in my view, what we have heard in this hearing and other
hearings and what i have read and observed the denial of access to the polling places whether it is true long lines or aggressive purchases of the polls or through a variety of other tactical means has a sycophant for greater impact on the natural ability to exercise the franchise. and in reality, a lot of this comes back to being outcome determinative as the lawyers tend to say. when florida had an election where the presidential election held in the balance of the initial difference of the 537 votes, you suddenly began to focus a lot of attention on these very minor 99.99 versus 999 can actually determine who is the governor and who is the senator and president. so it is deserving of the faeroe attention to what the impact is on the ability to vote of some of these very restrictive changes and i was truly disturbed and troubled by senator nelson's testimony and
former governor testimony of what we may have motivated some of the changes and decisions that we have been taken in florida and their impact on access to the polls. so the first question to governor crest what do you view as the most important in the administration of reforms that would actually sustainably and successfully improved access to the ballot and ease the voting? >> there are several things and i appreciate the question. the number one, if he would restore i think the early voting days from the now restricted to eight days back to 14, i think that would be a step in the right direction. i also think as we chatted about earlier, the fact that reopening that sunday before the tuesday election would be honoring a lot more people and the practice that they want to participate in in the fashion that they want to participate.
i also think as it relates to voting by mail the new law in florida passed in 2011 said that when people send in their ballot and i'm pretty sure that i got this right the only evidence that can be utilized to to determine the person sending in the ballett was actually the one purporting to do so was their signature on the ballot when they sent it in and it matched up with the signature at the supervisor's office. if you are in a situation like my mother who last year unfortunately had a stroke by the grace of god she's doing pretty well now and literally thank god for that. but the one residual that is killing during is that she isn't able to ride with her right hand and she is right handed. somehow in the world are you going to have your signature matchup with the signature that is on file in the supervisor's
office if you have suffered that difficulty? so there are several things that i think are just common sense. they are more convenient to vote and appreciate that some people's ability to assign their signature as they did before me have altered or changed and just be respectful to the voter the people that we are supposed to work for and allow them to exercise this wonderful opportunity and privilege that we have in america to choose our leaders and have the chance to exercise that right that so many have died for in a common sense way. >> thank you, governor. one of the things i tried to contribute to in the senate is a bill of fare accurate secure and timely voting act that urges the states to compete for a pot of the federal matching funds and to put forth proposals for things that they might do. online registration, voting by
mail, extending the date is available to ensure we have as much access to the opportunity access as possible and other bills impose federal minimum standards in terms of access, and i'd be interested press secretary benet i admire your goal of having the best election system i think you said in the world. i served on the foreign relations committee with senator durbin and we are both interested and engaged in the promotion of democracy, the developing world. it is an embarrassment to this country when we have an election where there are six come seven, 18 hours of waiting lines and i am really concerned and troubled by what seems to be the motivation by the more aggressive registration and voter i.d. law. help me understand. you made a passing reference to the county officials. what do you see as the capability of the capacity to the states and counties to comply with federal mandates,
minimum standards to ensure we do have the best voting system in the world? >> thank you, senator. it's probably been better than ever before since the passage of the related federal dollars that came out because of that. but i think that we are at the point where at least in arizona and from conversations i had with people around the country a lot of the equipment purchased with those dollars are nearing the end of lifecycles. that is a point that i've discussed with the 15 county recorder's and as recently as last week to come up with a funding stream i've proposed something along the lines that may be three or $5 per voter per year budgeted at each of the county levels as well as out of the state general fund in budget to meet $5 a year per registered voter is a reasonable sum to accomplish the fundamental purpose of allowing people to
vote without having to sit in long lines and upgrade equipment and maybe move in the direction of the voting centers where two of the county's for example have already moved in a direction where any voter from the county can go to any voting center when you don't have the phenomena of lamb in the wrong colin location ed about what i cast didn't count because we didn't find the right pulling location so there are technological advances and things that we can do. there's no federal money. we salute all little bit of it left in arizona that we will make probably available to the counties as may be matching a thing to address the renewal of our equipment but the resources are getting very thin. >> i appreciate that input and it strikes me as compelling. i have one last question. >> would you agree i at the leipheimer testimony the access
is diminished by long waiting times and we should be concerned about this impact to read a recent study showed that in this election in 2012, 22% of african-americans, 24% of latinos had to wait more than 30 minutes but only 9 percent of the caucasian or white voters had to wait 30 minutes or longer. would you care to think that show with me what can be done to remedy and what does it say about the continued value of the voting rights act at the time the supreme court is reviewing its appropriateness? >> thank you. i don't have an explanation for why there are longer lines for some minority groups nationwide. i think the explanation may vary state by state, let it is very discouraging to have to wait such a long time to be able to cast your vote and if you have a job where you don't have the flexibility to take time off to
vote you realize you're going to get in trouble with your boss or we face the after work attempt to vote you have to get home and cook dinner it makes it difficult and we've seen a lot of people get out of line and go home. with respect to section 5i have to say that it has been critically important for the minority community over time and since the time the jurisdictions were covered in 65 and 75 just this year speaking from my perspective as a litigator, it has continued to be critical and very much alive. in texas when the legislature passed a plan that absolutely clearly discriminated against latinos and every american's to have racially discriminated if we didn't have section 5 the plans would have gone into
effect. while we struggled in court on the limited resources to assemble enough experts and other witnesses to convince the judge panel that eventually it would have to be joined. section five ships it properly to the jurisdictions to show at the outset that they are not discriminatory. in the case of texas and the districting it couldn't prove that its plans for nondiscriminatory in the d.c. court and they were joined. as a result, we had elections under the interim plan that were more fair than they would have been otherwise, section 5 is alive and that isn't the only example i could give that it is alive and vibrant and so needed. it is precious to us in the core of the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever passed by congress. >> thank you. much for your testimony and for your hard work in litigating what i know is complex and difficult cases.
inclosing if i might mr. chairman i would say i am too and passionate about showing the voting rights act remains alive and relevant. and that the ugly history that led to the voting rights act in the pre-clearance requirements there's evidence and you cite the texas case to suggest these are still valid concerns and they require strong federal legislative action to ensure access to the polls that a safe and fair and open electoral system remains a part or is a part, becomes a part of america's electoral future because our history suggests that in the absence of the determination and rigor. thanks for your testimony. >> what we ask representative cobb-hunter the following question and ii do know the answer but i want to hear your
response. what is the big deal? if i am a writer on an airplane i have to show an ied and if i want to rent a car i have to show and all ied and sometimes to go to a presidential rowley i have to show an ied so what's the big deal showing them to vote for goodness sakes to make sure i am who i say? >> welcome a senator, we heard that question a lot in south carolina, and now i will tell you what the big deal is from my constituents. and all ied is something that is difficult to come by and the perspective is the rule and dealing with people who don't have documentations that might be necessary. it's important to note that the notion of an ied in and of itself is not a problem where we those of us and softer line and of the legislative caucus that walked out of our legislature during the debate on this where
we came down in this agreement was the barrier requesting the photo id set in some communities were simply not much for the constituents to deal with. you go to the dmv and you can get a free id. the reality as i said earlier as was in my written testimony is not that simple. for example to go to the dmv is different than what you have. then you are talking about incurring expenses of going through the name changes because it doesn't match on the voting registration and the record of the example is in the family bible and a lot of the
communities so the issue isn't the ied, the issue in south carolina is the documentation that is required first to get an id, so it's not that we support fraga, and i would point out again that there were absolutely zero. in south carolina there was not and is not one case that can be cited as a person showing up at the polls with their idea of another person attempting to vote. it is critical for us in south carolina that the pre-clearance requirement of section 5 would be maintained. and let me end by saying that we were fortunate in our state of the three judge panel ruled that this id couldn't take effect
the impression that the law that was litigated before the three jet panel is the law that will take effect then. we are all for integrity but we are not the barriers that preclude people. >> would you like to add something? >> the big deal is most people do have a photo id they can use to vote depending on what state you are in but many people don't and there are higher numbers of these people in certain sub communities. i will mention clients i had in the voter id allegation in texas. two young women voted -- graduated from high school, top of their class, pride of our community, full scholarships to college, student id from high school but no driver's licenses because it was too expensive and they are very limited income to put them on the car insurance. when you get a driver's license your parents's car insurance goes through the roof especially if there are two of use of these
young women came to d.c. and testified and boarded a plane using a student id and were able to check into a hotel and we helped them along the way but this was with id that attacks new law was not going to be sufficient. the tide of voter id law is the more difficult it is for certain groups. victoria and nicole were young and poor and in that group, especially if you are dependent on public transportation we will get higher rates of people without voter id. the first analysis by texas clearance process in front of d o j yielded a statistical result that might be twice as likely as not latinos to lack an official driver's license issued by texas. no one is sure if that is the true number but it was the first number texas came up with. >> i will ask the last question here. could use a and a few words could you describe why a person in arizona would -- when they
attempted to vote would receive a provisional ballot? >> the most common reason is this past year, this past election, the most common reason is they had been mailed an early ballot by mail, and in a household or whenever, showed up on election day -- was mailed to them at home so they don't inadvertently get the vote twice they are asked to vote a provisional ballot. provisional ballots are set aside until all of the late arriving ballots by mail are verified and once we know we did not receive a ballot by mail from that voters and the provisional ballot is cast. we had many voters who admitted
they heard on the media or whatever that if you had mailed your ballot on friday or saturday with the election on tuesday it might not get there in time. vote a provisional ballot. the first reason people were asked to vote provisionals were they had already been mailed rebalance. >> did you detect any trends in terms of this instance where people were given a provisional ballot based on the extent of early ballot? were there more whites or more hispanic women or men? >> no. our largest county in the phoenix metropolitan area, i should probably have provided you a wonderful map that they did that identifies the hispanic voters in the county, the higher the percentages the darker color. they have done any valuation already of where the provisional ballots come in and the provisional ballots are
scattered all throughout -- >> the reason for issuance of provisional balance was across the board for everybody. that is why i wanted to ask this question. you spoke in your testimony, statewide in arizona, 2012 election, 172,000 provisional ballots were cast, 7.4% of the total number of ballots cast, two thirds of provisional ballots cast statewide were cast in maricopa county wary large number of minority voters reside. 19% of provisional ballots in the state were rejected and not counted. according to analysis by the arizona capital times, maricopa county voters with higher percentages of miami -- minorities cast provisional ballots in the nov. 6 election. eighty-two% of voters in all the precincts north of phoenix were minorities. that precinct 18.5% of all
ballots cast were provisional. in the hudson precinct 43% of presidents were minorities, 32% of ballots cast were provisional. can you explain why voters in arizona's minority precincts were so much more likely to receive and cast provisional ballots that may ultimately not be counted? >> the data you are referring to in the capital times article is not day i have heard from counties themselves. what i did glean from the meeting i referred to with the two groups, the 34,000 latino voters they registered in the last few weeks or months or two before the election, on many of those voting registration form as the voters themselves have not checked the box to be on permanent early voter list and receive their ballot by mail. for the purpose of the organization that was pushing the drive, i was a bit surprised
they admitted to me that the organization officials had checked a box on the voter registration form, that the voters may not have known had been checked by the group they gave it to which caused a ballot to be mailed to those folks and they were thinking i'm going to go to the polls and vote and about shows up and they thought was a sample ballot or whatever. there was the least one anecdotal evidence of these groups, large latino voters. >> what you said earlier is you look at provisional ballots across the board but statistics show it provisional ballots were more likely in the minority precincts. >> i don't think statistically that is correct. i think they could find because the article indicates of the darker blue, the color they used on these maps, the darker blue precinct with a higher percentage of minorities, hispanics, registered voters,
some of those precincts had higher percentages than the average. when you look at the map of where the provisional ballots are across the county they were across the county and i personally sat at a table with the volunteer and processed a large group of provisional ballots from the predominantly non minority precincts and so i would respectfully suggest they might be picking one or two precincts that correlate high voter registration or minority registration and high provisional ballots but there were as many or more precincts that did not that had low minority percentages. >> comparison statistics. i want to thank this panel and all of you who followed this hearing, the question is the election is over, why are you concerned about it? we are concerned about dumping very basic stated by the courts.
the supreme court said the right to vote is preservative of basic civil and political rights and when that question was asked every supreme court nominee if they understood how important this one right was, and they testified that they did and we shouldn't forget it. a lot of organizations that puts statements in the record, leadership conference on human rights. and the leadership council and american civil liberties union, without objection, no objection, the hearing record will be held open for one week for additional statements, written questions may be sent your way to witnesses at the close of business one week from today, spent christmas eve and christmas day completing the questionnaire and get back to us. we will ask the witnesses to respond promptly so we complete the record in depth there are no further comments from the panel or colleagues i think the witnesses for attending and colleagues for participating.
the hearing stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> c-span spoke with two retiring lawmakers. congressman dan burton and senator kent conrad. mr. burton, an indiana republican, served in congress for 30 years end-1990s chaired the house oversight committee. senator conrad, a north dakota democrat has been in office 20 years and chairs the senate budget committee. our interview with congressman burton is at 8:00 eastern tonight and senator conrad follows at 8:30. the house and senate are back in session tomorrow. the senate is in at 10:00 a.m. eastern for work on two bills, the first would extend provisions of foreign intelligence surveillance act, the others that $60 billion relief package for areas
affected by hurricane sandy. the house reconvenes at 2:00 p.m. eastern. house leaders have not release the schedule of legislative activity for tomorrow. live coverage from the house floor on c-span and senate live on c-spanat 2. c-span2. >> united states discovered surveillance flights and the tension builds that we have a quarantine or blockade around cuba and one of the things that happened in that time is a soviet submarine is found by american ships and they dropped depth charges on the soviet submarine. they knocked out the electrical system. carbon dioxide was rising. people were passing out inside the submarine. no communications with the kremlin. the commander of the submarine says load the torpedoes, outlets
attack. the war probably started already. we are not going to do somersaults when the war started. we're not going to disgrace the country so launch the nuclear torpedo. they said it ready to launch. fortunately one of the other commanders with a lower rank talked him out of it. he might have saved the world. >> this is so close to the edge. it really was one of the scariest moments in history. >> in human history. >> we were teenagers. i am so grateful, all this criticism of kennedy, but we wouldn't even be here to talk. >> director oliver histone on the and told a history of the united states, saturday night at:00 eastern on booktv's afterwards, days of nonfiction books and authors through new year's day on c-span2.
>> the senate is considering a $60 billion relief package for hurricanes and the victims. on friday the senate banking and urban affairs committee held a hearing on hurricanes and the recovery efforts. officials with the department of housing and urban development, federal transit administration and representative from new york and new jersey's transit and port authority. >> good morning, welcome everyone to today's hearing, the challenges our region's public transit and housing base as a result superstorm sandy has been addressed -- tough morning. we started with a hearing on the loss of our ambassador from libya. those challenges, just had opening ceremony for senator o inouye line in state and now
the devastation the northeast region -- has been a tough day but we appreciate our witnesses being here to shed some light and hopefully some commitment by our colleagues to meeting our challenges. as you all know sandy's destructive force overwhelmed the region particularly in new jersey and new york and the result is massive unprecedented damage, unprecedented but this was our second hurricane in two years and we expect extreme weather like this to become more common for our region. because we need to prepare for the next storm is not enough to spend our time today simply discussing how we restore our housing and transit infrastructure to their vulnerable free storm condition. in my view now is the time to determine what actions we must take in order to build back the region in a way that makes us less of vulnerable in future storms. the term we use in washington to
describe this is indication. i don't think that makes clear the critical task we are pursuing here. this is about rebuilding in a smarter, better and stronger way. we should learn from the important lessons in the gulf after hurricane katrina. transit agencies lost buses in the storm and when they started speaking with fema about replacing those buses fema said they could not buy new buses. they had to buy used buses the same age to replace those buses. these agencies were put in the absurd position of scouring the country trying to find someone who would seldom old buses but with mitigation funding we can pay for a new bus to replace the old one. the same principle applies to rail transit. hoboken pass station was flooded and coming back to service after weeks after the storm, should we
put the station back together with the same exact vulnerability to flooding? or should we rebuild in a way that would prevent such extensive flood damage in the future? of course we should rebuild to protect against future storms. it seems to me it is not only common sense but for my friends who are fiscal hawks the reality is is more fiscally responsible to ultimately in sure that we don't have repetitive loss, that we don't have economic consequences, that we don't have human consequences as a result of simply going back to that which was. with a smart investment we can prevent hundreds of millions of future damages to the transit system. to understand the importance of rebuilding in a way that hardens our infrastructure and makes us more resilient, let me begin by laying out some facts to the damage to our region.
based on preliminary estimates and i underscore that, 300,000 homes in new jersey alone were damaged, 20,000 homes are destroyed or made uninhabitable. we fear the final numbers will be much higher. preliminary damage estimate provided by my state provides $36 billion in damage. i live in new jersey my whole life, and i have never seen the devastation we have now. i would like to tell you the story of many homeowners who lost so much. gerry lynch works as a realtor and lived in notionport for ten years. when word of the storm came to evacuate with her care--as many positions as she could. her water rose four feet and still not clear if it would be totally torn down or repair or put on higher stilts and she doesn't know if she will have money to do that. she says practically the only
houses in her neighborhood that survived were built on higher still switch is exactly why we need resiliency in rebuilding. now she is living in the mock housing until the end of the summer. she doesn't know where she will be after that. in the interim she is relying on friends and community to help her. she has a remarkably positive attitude despite all she has been through. this is why jersey will come back stronger than ever. if we do not have a robustly funded program, the funding for her to rebuild stronger may not be there. to illustrate how serious the housing damage was up and down the jersey shore i would like to share these images from union beach, new jersey where homes, cars and people's lives were destroyed. sandy was one of the largest mass transit disasters in our nation's history. four of ten of the nation's
transit riders had their commute disrupted. in my -- the transportation network was devastated by sandy. new jersey transit which carries 900,000 riders daily suffered damage to wall 12 rail lines. miles of track and road were washed out, some stations flooded and destroyed, hundreds of cars and locomotives were submerged, some suffering irreparable damage. the past system which carries seventy-seven million people from new jersey and manhattan each year was brought to a halt by the flooding. hoboken's station in new jersey which provides service to 30,000 people daily reopened to the public only yesterday more than a month and half after sandy made landfall. to help illustrate how serious the flooding was i would like to share this image from security camera showing corot's if see water rushing into the hoboken
station. in new york where public transit carries eight million riders each day the damage was unprecedented. sandy shutdown the entire system for the second time in its 108 year history. eight subway tunnels were flooded. some from floor to ceiling. 12 subway stations suffered major damage or were destroyed entirely. i want to stress the importance of investing now so we don't have to pay again next time this happens. tracks need to be raised, we should raise the. subway stations need to be reinforced against floodwaters we should reinforce them. where electrical substations need to be protected and elevated let's protect and elevate them. one thing we did not want is to find ourselves back in this room when the next major weather events strikes our region. with that, seeing no other members at this point, some may
come and we are on the sandy recovery legislation as we speak, i want to introduce the first two witnesses and ask you each to limit your testimony to five minutes, the your entire written testimony will be included in the record. peter is -- peter rogoff is someone the committee knows as an able leader. i look forward to hearing from him about the public transportation emergency relief program and the banking committee helped create and how it will help the region recover in the months ahead. yolanda chavez is deputy assistant secretary for grant program that the department of housing and urban development and here to discuss how the development block grant program can be used to quickly provide relief following superstorm sandy. with that, mr. administrator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to
review hurricanes sandy's devastating impact on transportation to discuss the obama administration's but request for assistance to the fda newly authorized for emergency relief program. and hurricane sandwich triggered the worst transit disaster in the history of the united states. on the tuesday morning following the storm more than half of the nation's daily transit riders were without service. even in the days that followed services in boston and philadelphia and baltimore and washington d.c. came back online still 37%, while more than a third of the nation's transit riders without service. we applaud the outstanding and tireless efforts of emergency responders throughout the region who work with all the affected transportation agencies to restore as much service as quickly as possible. fda and the broader department of transportation have been
engaged throughout this event. we were even before the storm hit in regular and electronic touch with many transportation leaders, governors and impacted mayors of the region in terms of preparation including members on your second panel. also after the storm fda worked with fema to procure well over 200 buses to provide mobility of thousands in new jersey's presidents as a result of the loss of rail service. i got on the phone to secure donated buses from other less impacted transit agencies and we got on e-mail as well as the phone to scare up some hard to find but desperately needed equipment which we found in chicago and shipped out right away in order to get the past service back up and running. that said there's a great deal to be done. president obama's request for
disaster assistance seeks $60.4 billion for recovery and mitigation. department of transportation shared request,$.7 billion and of that $11.7 billion the majority portion directly support the effort to repair and replace the effect of public transit infrastructure and make it more resilience. these funds would be administered through the new public transportation emergency relief program and i want to thank you for your leadership in establishing this program just a few months ago. the administration requested in its budget, you may recall i testified on its behalf before the committee in may of 2011. we are grateful to the senate appropriations committee for responding to the president's request for aid under this program. the support of both committees was timely as the new emergency relief program strengthens the authority to provide financial disaster assistance to transit
agencies in times of greatest need and to better coordinate with partners of fema. fda's request reflects two major priorities, $6.2 billion in aid to repair and restore public transportation infrastructure in the affected areas of new york, new jersey, lesser amounts in places like connecticut and other states on the eastern seaboard. fda staff and contractors are working side by side under a fema mission assignment to conduct damage assessment and cost validation work for both operating and capital costs needed to restore and rebuild transit capacity. these early joint efforts should allow us to compensate the impact of transit agencies once the assistance is made available, first-time effort to get contractors, staff and fema people working side by side for cost validation quickly and in concert with one another so we
have one common cost estimate and the ability to compensate people more rapidly. the administration is requesting $5.5 billion to make transit facilities more resilience, to better withstand severe coastal flooding and other weather-related challenges. this country and its people cannot afford to endure the loss of life and property that occurs when catastrophic events repeat themselves over and over again. hardened transit systems to protect them from such disasters can outweigh the cost to repair and restore them multiple times. under our budget request, funds invested in private future disasters will be guided by regional response plans with guidance and assistance from fda and other federal agencies along with state and local government. regional cooperation will be critical in this effort. president obama established a hurricane sandy rebuilding task
force under the leadership of hud secretary donovan. the deputy secretary of transportation and i went to new york just last week to sit with the head of new jersey transit's, representatives from amtrak and the port authority to start the regional discussion, to make sure folks are working in a cooperative way to make sure they identify and we have a process identify the most cost-effective mitigation efforts. it is critical the regions and agencies work well together on this. it is quite possible that if not done correctly when mitigation investment could worsen the potential damage on a neighboring transit assets. this needs to be done in a coordinated fashion that bridges all the local players, local agencies, state and local government to make sure the impact of hurricane sandy don't repeat themselves.
i am already over my time. with that i will submit the rest of the statement for the record. thank you. >> madam secretary. >> good morning, chairman menendez, thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding recovery from superstorm sandy. in my role as to the secretary of grant programs with hud i am responsible for the community development's block grant program, the disaster recovery grant and home program. the disaster recovery program is critical to helping communities recover from and rebuild after natural disasters like superstorm sandy. this morning i will discuss sandy's impact on housing and the work had has started and will continue for long term recovery in the region. additional details on these points on secretary donovan's role as head of the sandy recovery task force are provided
in witness testimony. hurricane sandy and the nor'easter that followed had massive and very impact on the atlantic coast from virginia to rhode island. especially hard hit were new york and new jersey, two of the nation's critical economic engines. one of the major effects of storms like sandy is damage to homes and apartments and individuals, excluding homes, more than 150,000 housing units experienced substantial flooding as a result of sandy. this means housing will be crucial part of the recovery and rebuilding effort. in new jersey alone over 44,000 primary residences had flooding. more than half experienced a foot of flooding. we project half of the damage on primary homes in new jersey were occupied by low and moderate income households. our research staff has identified 500 neighborhoods in
new york, new jersey and connecticut where 20% of homes were damaged. more than 175 of these neighborhoods are in new jersey. head is assisting affected state and local governments. immediately following the storm we hope -- posted calls with these to help understand how existing resources may be used for response for recovery efforts. a series of waivers make it easier to use these for emerging needs. force and the recovery, disaster recovery. this will provide the necessary resources to plan and implement recovery in the region while having impacted communities to mitigate future risk of disaster
or to prevent losses from reoccurring. mitigation is not just sensible but cost effective. studies have found mitigation efforts offer $41 return on investment by preventing future damage. for example in hope, indiana, a 2008 disaster recovery allocation of $40 million allows for the rebuilding of stronger, safer water, wastewater facilities that have operated without disruption despite subsequent severe storms and flooding. previous disaster response efforts have proved c b d g offers important flexibility and effectiveness by allowing jurisdictions to design long-term house needs and recovery programs based on their specific needs. our experience also demonstrates the importance of early appropriations so that it is clear the fun ofs will be available and planning efforts
include the full range of needs. major infrastructure investments take time to design permitting requirements. stake and local governments are unlikely to proceed with these efforts without the assurance they have funding to implement projects. after katrina, the state of louisiana awaited ten month for second appropriation before launching its main home ownership assistance program. this delayed much needed assistance to 100,000 households. i should note the cbdg funds are not drawn from the treasury until shortly before actual payments are made. the guarantee these funds will be available is necessary to the project moving forward. the administration urges congress to pass supplemental appropriations bill as soon as possible to give effective states and communities what they need to recover and rebuild. thank you for the opportunity to testify.
i would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you for your testimony. about important things here in your oral testimony and your written testimony. secretary yolanda chavez, you cite new york and new jersey combined employed 12.7 billion workers or 10% of the entire united states employment and they are an estimated 11% of gdp nationally. or $4.4 trillion nationally. some of those figures make the case that the disaster supplemental is not just about building more rebuilding a few states but helping to rebuild at the same time a national economy. >> we agree with that. it is not only critical for the regional economy but rebuilding effort is critical for the national economy.
if we can't get new york and new jersey workers and businesses back to the pre storm pace in terms of economic recovery, we will see the economic recovery slow down instead of moving forward as it has been the last couple months. >> you also mentioned some incredible data that you determined, 500 neighborhoods where 20% of that neighborhood is in fact damaged or lost and 175 of those neighborhoods in new jersey alone. what is the impact of that type of damage to a neighborhood? in my own visits in new jersey, i have seen neighborhoods that are multi generational in terms of their calling part of the community their neighborhood,
their home. i have a conference call a day or two ago with a host of other mayors, the mayor of toms river told me, lost 20% of his entire base. 20%. when you lose 20%, i wasn't mayor for six years, that is a nightmare because there is no way to make it up. except for shifting the responsibility for that community's cost to all the other ratepayers and/or dramatically cutting the very essentials services like public safety and sanitation connection collections and other critical elements. what does that mean? >> you make the case for why the supplemental is important. in order to rebuild the base, not only the community based but
economic base of that neighborhood you need to start rebuilding. losing 20% of the presidents of the base not only in terms of tax base and property values but in terms of neighborhood safety, devastating to communities and that is why it is critical we star in this process as soon as we can. this type of disaster could take four to ten years in terms of rebuilding. we have seen that in louisiana and mississippi. still in mississippi, we are working with the state to provide assistance to homeowners rehabilitating their homes. we cannot wait any longer for to start the process. >> delayed recovery is a failed recovery? >> delayed recovery is a failed recovery, recovery that doesn't allow communities to plan for the range of needs understanding
it may take five to ten years to recover, we would also say as a failed recovery. >> administrator, taking off from the secretary's comments about the regional economy and context of the national economy transportation is a critical element, is it not? of getting people to work, getting a work force to their jobs, being able to create productivity, being able to drive abettor bottom line, being able to move an economy? sometimes we think other parts of the country, particularly transit, some type of luxury, isn't it a necessity for economic success? >> it absolutely is, mr. chairman but nowhere is it more of a necessity than the new york new jersey region, 40% of the nation's transit passengers in the northern part of your state, central northern part of your
state and in and around the city in southeastern connecticut. importantly many studies have shown that after housing, transportation is the second-largest draw on a family's paycheck. in terms of the availability and affordability of that transportation is elemental to the overall economic health of the area. as you pointed out, 10% of the nation's gdp in that area. >> i know that you have helped fema do damage assessments and visited with us and others in the region in terms of reviewing the damage personally. they you think region's transit system could be rebuilt and protected with less than 1 third of the funds the administration requests? >> no. we took note of one of the amendments that has been introduced that would cut the president's request by 70% specifically in transit emergency relief.
that amount would not even cover the recovery estimates that we currently have much less get any necessary litigation investments that had been requested under the president -- >> that amount would not even cover the recovery. >> the restoration and recovery costs, most of which take the form of reimbursements to the agency's you will hear from on your second panel. these are costs that in many cases have already been laid out by the port authority and new jersey transit, working diligently with fema to validate those costs to reimburse them to continue to turn out their service for the year. we have to remember they have to live within their own budget envelops to provide reliable desirable service for the region on an ongoing basis for the fiscal year and laid out a great deal of money just on
restoration, they have the pleaded their stocks of spare equipment and in some cases stealing equipment from one line to keep another open. >> is it possible if congress does not respond adequately that they have to resort to their stock? >> that question is well put to the next panel in terms of how they would make the dollars that up. i know the mta has announced they will need to go out and have one out for additional debt just to cash flow the recovery until we can reimburse them. there is the risk of degradation to the public if they can't for example restore their stocks of spare equipment to keep the system up and running. >> some of our colleagues seem to think any attempt to rebuild transit systems with an eye towards mitigation and making
them stronger for the future is a waste of money. what is your perspective? >> one thing that became clear in the after action look at this which gave rise to the president's request is we know now and indeed the operators on the ground have known for some time the we have the most critical components to keep the system is up and running in some of the most vulnerable areas. i think what those folks are saying when they say we shouldn't make mitigation investments is we should take taxpayer money and rebuild those critical components right back in the same vulnerable environment. we can do this much smarter and cheaper over the long run. if we make the necessary investment to protect that situation from happening again. when it comes to things like propulsion power, signal systems, we know now that some of those critical elements that
are absolutely critical to get that service up and running for 10% of the american economy are in very vulnerable places. none of us, no homeowner had their basement flood repeatedly take their best family heirlooms and stores it on the floor of the basement. we might buy some shelving or put the air loams on a shelf -- heirlooms on a shelf. if they say there are no mitigation investments we should put the family heirlooms on the floor of the basement again and wait for the next flood to happen. the other thing you need to remember is when we have these repeated disaster elements, much of those costs would be fema eligible so the taxpayer pays again. and we see no wisdom in that and is why we built but mitigation funding into the president's budget in a very strategic way. they are not going to be just dollars spread around without a plan. the whole notion of the meeting we had with secretary donovan
and the impact transit's players in new york is to starting meaningful conversation of what is the most cost beneficial mitigation investment for the region looking at the entire transportation network? transit, the npa, even the staten island ferry. >> in essence it is more fiscally prudent to do the mitigation than replace as it was and wait for the next storm and repay all over again. >> absolutely. i know it seems trite but i have a large tree in front of my house. one branch fell and went through the windshield of one of my friends's cars this past year, one went through my car. we don't park under the free any more. we are smarter than that. we need to be that way when it comes to transit. >> let me ask one final thing.
i was pleased, the subcommittee chair working with senator johnson and the full committee to create the program in map 21 emergency relief. how do you think the program can help our agencies rebuild better and faster than if we had money going through fema? >> you pointed out the challenges we have under the fema stafford act rules where that fund will only reimburse transit agencies to their preexisting condition. you talked about folks in new orleans and katrina being told they had to find an 8-year-old bus to destroy the eight-year-old bus. the program you authorize allows us to restore the transit agency to the service the public needs, one that is reliable, provides reliable service and is up to modern technology. importantly on the conversation we just had, it also authorizes fema to prevent future disasters which is why the mitigation
investments are authorized under that program. the other benefit i believe, that conversation that we had with many agencies between fema and transit agencies after katrina took many wasted months to figure out who owed who want. in our case the fda has an electronic relationship that we use routinely with all these agencies. we have the infrastructure in place, we have staff that knows these facilities. two of the most tragic elements of the disaster from sandy, the south ferry station in lower manhattan and hoboken terminal our two facilities that the fda had already just put hundreds and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in and sustained extraordinary damage. the staff knows those facilities and what went in from. we worked with the same staff and rather than have the mustaf come in and go into that relation on the rebuilding we
think there's a lot of the efficiency for the taxpayer to have the fda still involved in that in a way that one transit grants he put it, we like having you here because you speak transit. we will save time and money because we do. >> finally, let me just go back to a comment you made in your testimony about having the resources necessary to understand and rely upon so that a community or an individual or a business can make an informed decision depending upon and relying upon that decision will be funded at the end of the day. what is the consequence of not having the resources under which you would make those decisions? >> the consequences basically are that the recovery will take
longer. as you wait longer it becomes more expensive. that is why it is critical to communities and we have seen it time and again with our experiences in mississippi and louisiana and iowa where communities understand the funding they have, they can take all the data in terms of their needs, a sign their program based on those needs and plan i had two or three or five years down the line because it will take five years to rebuild and how to address that and that is why it is critical that they know what the resources are right up front because we are going to ask them to give their plan for recovery based on their needs and the funding that is available to meet that and help the recovery. >> isn't it in the cbdg grants
that have the greatest flexibility which i know senator lang andrew has --landrieu has become an expert on and as chair of the homeland security appropriations subcommittee has made very clear that for example a small-business which is the economic backbone for which i have visited street after street of small businesses that have been closed that are trying to make a decision, do i start my business again or not, based upon trying to get a sense from the government whether there will be any standards under which the grant will be considered because many have told me i appreciate small-business loan at low rates and long term, that is just adding debt to a debt i already have. they took out the business and
survived the great recession and now they are faced with having lost so much for them. the choice between opening or not opening may depend upon cbdg program they can depend on. >> that is a fair statement. they have flexibility to determine how to design that program, they could determine they want to provide grants to small-businesses and get restarted. in other situations where maybe the business after it opened beneath additional assistance they may be determined is best to provide a low-interest loan or forgivable loan. there are many options for grantees in designing programs to help businesses get back to work again. >> i hope our colleagues and/or their staff have been listening to this testimony because the reality is with some of these amendments on the floor that
were offered, miserly to say the least at a moment of national imperative and not only the spirit of the season but to not have the spirit of what america is all about. this is the united states of america. there's a reason we call ourselves the united states of america. we respond collectively to the needs of our citizens regardless what part of the country they are in and we cannot get the types of recovery we and the nation need unless we have a more robust response. i want to thank you both for your testimony. we will be looking forward to continuing to work with you and as you department me introduce the next panel. james weinstein is with the largest grant the agency in the nation and he has kept a cool head in a tumultuous time for the agency and he will help us
understand the damage the agency faces in providing what is going forward. mr tom prendergast is the president of new york city transit, the separate extensive flooding damaged during the storm and i am glad he is here to help us read our minds around with those challenges are. patrick foye is with the port authority of new york and new jersey, we are happy the station is open again and there are significant challenges still. i would like to ask each of you, i would like james weinstein to give five minutes of oral testimony. your full statements will be included in record and then we can have a discussion. >> good morning, mr. chairman, thank you for your leadership in helping us take our state through this difficult time and thank you and members of this committee for providing this opportunity to address you today. the jersey transit is the second-largest transit agency in
the nation. sandy hit us particularly hard. we took extraordinary steps to mitigate potential harm. nonetheless the transit system suffered extraordinary damage to critical bridges, a local substations, track and signal systems, rolling stock and key terminals. in addition under governor chris christie's leadership we work with the federal emergency management agency, the federal transit administration and other partners to immediately implement extensive interim bus service, kerri service and other services to continue to delivery essential public transportation to our region's transit rider but mr. chairman, sandy has shown we cannot merely restore our rail and other infrastructure to its previous state. that would leave us vulnerable to the next storm. is clear we must go further and make the rail and other transit mode more resistant in the face of future superstorms. those steps will require
additional resources. we have identified $1.2 billion in resiliency and restoration project that would be eligible under fda emergency assistance program, projects to improve the system's ability to withstand storms of all stripes not just superstore that mimics andy's punishing surge. let me line of a few projects for you. 20% of our rail fleet, 350 railcars and locomotives were damaged during superstorm sandy most from flooding or maintenance facility, primary maintenance or repair facility that has never before flooded. to prevent a recurrence, top priority is insuring we have sufficient storms proof railyards to safely store locomotives and rail cars out of the recent flood waters and also out of harm's way from falling trees, electrical wires, utility poles and other storm driven debris. to that end we estimate it will cost half a billion dollars to construct new railyard
inspection facilities including a new yard in a site on the northeast corridor into brunswick that is currently owned by amtrak. this facility will provide centrally located sites for safe storage and allow locomotives and rail cars to be rapidly inspected and put back in service once the storm passes. additionally we are seeking 2 did million dollars to raise power and other systems at the meadowlands facility and a coat located rail operations center about foreseeable flood levels as well as flood control structures that will allow us to safeguard the most critical portions of the complex and to ensure the parts, generators and repair machinery and other equipment can ride out any storm in place as they must. mr. chairman, sandy badly flooded as you pointed out historic hoboken turtle and portions of the lot number station. we estimate it will cost $120 billion to restore and
strengthen these key locations against storms. sandy also ruined electrical substations on the north jersey coastline -- to construct substations and improve the coast line's resiliency by constructing sea walls for bridges, building sheeting to prevent watch out last bridge approaches and control houses. the hudson and rail systems were impacted heavily by floodwaters, repairing the light rail systems and making them more resilient will cost about $25 million. we are seeking $75 million to cover the cost of substitute bus and ferry e emergency service provided after the storm as well as to restore and expand and enhance communications during the disaster. real-time communications are vital whether customers are at a
station, on a train, on a bus, on the internet or using a smart phone. this is not only a customer service issue but a safety issue whether it is disaster as a result of mother nature iran act of man. we recognize there will be local match requirements for funding for the funding we are seeking and we are fully prepared to work with our local mp 0 partners to make whatever changes are needed to our existing capital program. we also are ready to expedite implementation of these products including using fast track design build contract thing. mr. chairman, i would note these cost estimates are just that, estimates, that may evolve over time. it is clear that money investing preventing future storm damage will limit the bill from future storms relief. as well as in sure our transit system has a better chance of avoiding service interruptions, disrupt people's lives and undermine economic vitality of
the region. we appreciate the committee's interest and any assistance you, the committee, congress and the administration could provide in helping renew lending proved to jersey's public transportation system will be greatly appreciated. i will answer any questions. >> good morning, chairman and other members of the committee. thank you for inviting me to testify today. i am tom prendergast, this is the largest transportation provider in the country. everyday the mta moves 8.5 million people reliably, affordably and safely. subways and buses, staten island railway, metro-north railroad and long island rail road, bridges carry three hundred million vehicles a year. and one of the few transit systems 24 hours away, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. as well as other transportation on this panel we are lifeblood
of $1.4 trillion regional economy, the largest in the country making up 11% of gross domestic product. about two months ago, our region came to a standstill in the aftermath of superstorm sandy. disaster that brought our system to its knees. for the second time in its 100 year history and a little over a year the mta shut down all of its services and despite unprecedented preparations we sustained damage on a level we had never experienced before. today most of our customers are seeing service but our workers and those that run the system are seeing another reality. a fragile system that is safe but extremely vulnerable. the subway line and ridge were completely washed away. the subway tunnel for the montague street tube connecting brooklyn and manhattan it will only be operational for the first time tomorrow. we have a subway line running, resulting in longer commutes and severe routing. we have drawn down 80% of
replacement equipment. the useful life of many signals whiches and relays has depleted exponentially due to the damage sustained by the storm. we estimate $5 billion in immediate repair needs left in sandy's destructive wake and billions in project needs to project the system from floods like we experienced and we will repair and rebuild the system as quickly as possible. 8.5 million people are depending on us. we spent hundreds of millions of dollars to restore service as quickly as possible and yesterday the board approved to move forward selling $2.5 billion in bonds to notes that will be used for that rebuilding. we were not all -- tables to shoulder this burden on our own and we cannot undertake these financing efforts without knowing what congress plans to do to support us. federal commitment is needed to insure we can rebuild and build back stronger. once the disaster relief supplement appropriations bill is signed into law we are prepared to enter into contracts to begin projects that are
essential to our riders, projects like white hall station restoration, restoring a rock way line, repairing and replacing damaged equipment, switches, relays, pumps and communication equipment, repairing roadway structure, ventilation and communications quintin the queens midtown tunnels and as we bring the system back to normal we must make necessary investments to protect this 108-year-old system from future storms. we must rebuild smarter. manhattan subway station is a perfect example. it was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks and took the $5 million to rebuild it. it serves 30,000 riders a day. was completely destroyed by superstorm sandy and we need to replace it. it was filled with water from floor to ceiling, corrosive saltwater which damaged everything. the last thing we want to do is to come back to congress for another $600 million after the next storm hits but we will we have to. it is in the best interest of american taxpayers to protect
this critical stage in and other infrastructure elements of the large investments can be wisely spent. as superstorm sandy demonstrated, when the mta to stem a largest regional economy shutdown. it is critical that we make the necessary investments to protect the station and other critical infrastructure elements. our needs are great but more than the new york store your new york need. this is a national issue. a national need. we need the federal government's help not only to get us on the road to recovery but to protect these critical assets in the future. once again, thank you for holding this import hearing and giving me the opportunity to testify today. i will answer any questions later. ..
>> our transportation assets include the busiest airport system in the country, including jfk, laguardia and for interstate bridges, the george washington bridge which is the busiest particular crossing in the world, the holland and lincoln tunnels, the nation's busiest bus terminal located in midtown manhattan, the largest port complex on the east coast, and the bistate commuter rail system. annually, about 77 million riders take that come and those who rely on it will tell you it is an indispensable part of their lives and jobs. while our past network is just over 13 miles long, it serves as a vital link in the region
carrying passengers under the hudson between new jersey and new york city. it is an essential artery in the region representing as noted this morning, more than $1.4 trillion in economic output, 11% of our nation's gdp. of all our transportation facilities, has suffered the most severe flow in superstorm sandy. we took every step we could to prepare for the storm. that despite our preparations this critical length was completely devastated by the historic storm surge, and flooding the reached over two feet above the prior 100 year flood level in lower manhattan. the storm surge reached and blasted to our passenger stations as that's light you up before, mr. chairman, indicates. and the tunnels which are ancient by today's mass transit standards. having been built at the turn of last century more than 100 years ago. the path network is dan's and closely contained with complex tunnels and are lucky underneath the hudson. these tunnels along with the
boxlike structures connecting the tunnels contain rack upon rack of critical and decades old signals, switching and communications equipment that were damaged and the deluge of corrosive seawater during sandy. these waters damaged the signals, switching communications and other equipment lining the track. most visibly to the public, our stations experienced the non-elect conditions. our historic hoboken terminal, one of the busiest in a system, was inundated after floodwaters crushed and enclosed elevator shaft, sending millions of gallons of water pouring into the station. many of our stations practically every wire circuit and every last bit of infrastructure that existed below ground was damaged, destroyed are otherwise left in need of attention and repair. to compound the problem many other parts the same to destroy are no longer manufactured due to their age. it has been like trying to find
replacement parts for an entire fleet of model t fords in the 21st century. thanks to their heroic efforts of our staff and many others who provided assistance, we commenced partial service restoration of the system on november 6, reestablishing service between journal square and 33rd street in manhattan. on november 12, we brought back service to newark. we have continued around-the-clock recovery efforts on november 26, path was resumed to the world trade center. as you noted, mr. chairman, i'm proud to say that just yesterday i joined employees for the inaugural run of restore hoboken services 33rd street on the westside of manhattan. with that we have restored at least limited service to all of the stations in our network. we learned during the storm that the ingenuity and dedication of our public service is unrivaled. in the first days after the storm one of our workers, tom all new, risked his own life to jump into several feet of murky flood waters to restart a pump
by hand preventing further flood damage. tom o'neil and his own words was just doing his job, and it's that attitude and fortitude of all our past employees that continue to bring us back. we could have not, we could not have done this on their own. companies in fact a from all of the country felt in the recovery. in perl mississippi the employees of trilogy communications work day and night on a weekend to prepare two miles of replacement specialized communication cable for our tunnels leading to the world trade center. u.s. beauty and fda provided critical support, administer rogoff was personally involved in securing desperately needed breakers from seeking in chicago for restoration. but with half still operate a partial schedule and his newsy jersey transit, commutes are still badly disrupted. what norman was a 45 minute at home for many has now doubled in length, or worse as commuters
displaced, seek alternate transit bus or ferry service. those with late evening shifts are still bearing the burden of limited service, having to rely on late-night buses to make their way home. we continue to rebuild and repair a cross our network. that is the case for states of new york and new jersey the port authority when it the federal government's help. simply put, we're not at full strength and we have endured hundreds of millions of dollars of damage. substations have been patched together with cannibalize parts, part of our network to operate on so-called manual locks with personal, personnel communicating by radio to mark trains passing station or signaling systems are still under repair. to bring our system back will require hundreds of millions of dollars. this will go immediately into signal system repairs, electric substation repairs, trackwork and communication systems. we are still counting the damage but we now estimate the cost of fully repair and restore the system may total more than
$700 million. much more than early preliminary estimate of 390 it is also critical we invest in mitigation measures to protect our system from future storms so that we do not find ourselves in the same situation just a few years from now. this will include projects such as elevating fortunes of track, elevating critical substations and strengthening critical tunnels underneath the hudson river. these will come at significant cost but without them as we learn over the last two months, the cost to the taxpayer will be even greater. some of you know that the port authority receives no taxpayer money from either new york or new jersey. we relied exclusively on user fees the fares are passengers pay and rinse and other fees. all revenue streams that have their limitations. we are still assessing the exact cost of repairing, but our needs are significant. finally, i urge congress to act as soon as possible, mr. chairman, in improving recovery funding for the new york/new
jersey and connecticut region. the final cost will no doubt be high, but the cost should we fail to make necessary repairs are unfathomable in terms of cost of lost productivity, lost jobs, the fractious transportation network and economic output. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you all for your testimony. let me start off, you know, so my colleagues here think you'd pluck these numbers out of the sky. they are all inflated. and you do not necessary. what would you say to that? >> mr. chairman, we've been very sensitive to that very issue. i mean, these are estimates that are a work in progress. we keep saying that, but i will tell you that at least from new jersey transit standpoint, railroads are expensive. we move on our railroad every
day, a court of the nine to 300,000 people. those are people if they're not on the railroad there on the roads. when they're on the roads trying to get to get to work, the road system breaks down, mr. chairman. this is a network. it's very expensive to maintain it, but it has, return it has to the economy, the returned that attest to the quality of life come in our region is immeasurable. >> the new york city part of nt infrastructure on the $750 billion. we spent over $75 billion since 1982. the damage we sustained a significant. it's affecting our ability to provide service. i think mr. weinstein elaborate very clearly, if you live in the region and you experience in the first few days after the storm the gridlock that existed not just in manhattan but the outer
boroughs and the region at large, you receive impacts that occur to the committee. to say that transportation network that all three of these agencies provide for the new york region is the lifeblood of the region is an understatement. so that would be the way i would respond to it. and mr. foye i heard your numbers. your numbers went upwards, not downward. >> they did very likely spend all of your numbers went upwards, not downward. >> tried to i think that's right. service was restored only yesterday. our focus is in restoring service to the 77 million passengers on an annual basis to use the path to allow making a three-point. one is in accordance with the approach that governor cuomo in new york and governor christie have taken, we at the port authority believe in accountability. we understand there will be accountable to the federal government and for federal funds and notably to the taxpayers for every dollar we receive. second point i'd note is the port authority has already spent out of pocket about $200 million
since superstorm sandy occurred on october 29. those dollars are real, we're prepared to demonstrate every dollar. third, i would note that we're not talking, none of our agencies are talking about a bridge to nowhere. we are talking about restoring tunnels and bridges and train stations, whether it's new jersey transit, nda, which exists, which serves millions and tens of men's of passengers a year. and the damage in the case of cat are to equipment that was installed 50, 60, 70 years ago which is frankly only available and can be viewed at the smithsonian. and we're prepared, mr. chairman, to demonstrate every come and be accountable for every dollar that we are provided. >> so, tell me what would happen if, i think you're all familiar with the supplemental as the administration submitted it to congress, and that we are pursuing, what would happen if you get collectively less than a
third of what is being offered? what is your decision going to be like lex how is it going to affect you? >> well, in terms of what i stated my testimony, the board approved the additional funding of $2.5 billion in bond notes a we will run those down. we will deal with it on a priority basis. we're just getting the tunnel back tomorrow. we've had extensive signal damages. taken us six weeks to troubleshoot and get that service running. tens of thousands of people at the use that line. the rockaway has not been restored, that service. that's going to draw a large share of that money. as those monies get drawn down, it will reach the point where we are reaching the limits of our own ability to generate funds that we can use for these types of repairs. we will be forced to put off critical repair needs that may result in other delays. what we saw in the montague street, we put up on some of the others in terms of anticipated
increase finished in the signal systems. it would affect our ability to provide a safer level service on an ongoing basis. >> if you had to draw down the 2.6 billion -- >> 2.5. >> $2.5 billion you don't get a significant federal response towards that, you will pay those off. >> we're increasing the debt service to be able to do that, yes. >> if you increase the debt service to do that, it's worth getting greater ridership, you ultimately are looking at the possibility of a fare increase? >> yes and we're just going through with a fare increase right now, according to the budget we have planned for both operating and capital needs. that would have to be revisited. >> how about new jersey? >> mr. chairman, if i could, if we didn't get the money that we're asking for, we are close to it. we're not going to be able to make the repairs. and more importantly the mitigation improvements. that's going to leave our system vulnerable for the next storm, and we noticed now we're getting
hundred year storms every year. and i feel a particular sensitivity at this point in light of the fact that our largest maintenance facility in kearny, new jersey, flooded for the first time in history of our agency. so if we don't have that, we're going, we're going to have to make the immediate repairs that we need to run the system every day, and no over an extended period of time, you know, we would probably have to make the repairs that would add the kind of resiliency. at during that time we would be exposed to the same kind of damage that we experienced in superstorm sandy, and the investments that we've made would be washed away and we would be coming back to the federal government and the fema. and mr. chairman, the other point i think to the issue about upping estimates and all that, i
think the system and the group that administrator rogoff spoke about, putting the fda and fema and agency teams together, working on the development of those project costs, working on the development of those, that's a very serious effort, and it is not a frivolous effort. as somebody's whose regular by the fda on a day-to-day basis, and you know this very well, mr. chairman, that agency takes how we spend federal dollars very seriously. we take very seriously. what we are engaged in is not a frivolous effort. it's an effort to make our system resilient so that we don't have to come back every time we have a superstar. >> mr. foye, and action all of you i think are involved in this view could all answer. didn't we learn a lesson in a different context after september 11, that any post-september 11 world, multiple modes of transportation
are critical, not just for all of the economic reasons we've talked about, not just about getting workforce to work, getting salespeople to their venues, getting people to hospitals, getting people to home, getting people to recreation. but, in fact, on that fateful day when every system of transportation was shut down, it was a respect that people of lower manhattan into new jersey hospitals. so it sent us a lesson, i think, that the imports of multiple modes of transportation, in addition to all the normal weeks have come is also a security issue. so getting the systems up and running and getting them up and running in inefficient and ineffective in a safe manner is not only a driver to our economy and to our quality of life, it is also a security imperative. would that be a mistake and? >> no, mr. chairman, that is exactly right. obviously, the port authority
was terribly impacted by 9/11, given the fact that 84 of our members died at the world trade center. one of the lessons of 9/11, mr. chairman, and superstorm sandy, in october, was that from an economic, from a national security point of view, from a homeland security point of view, the transportation system is critical. and each of the transportation agencies, new jersey transit, path, amtrak are in their dependent. when one or more of them, or in this case all of them, are taken out of service, the impact on the region from economic point of view, from a transportation plan you would also from a public safety national security and homeland security point of view is magnified, mr. chairman, and that point is exactly right. >> i'd like to at also in addition from a security standpoint, the integral element of the mta hurricane plan developed in concert with the city of new york is that indeed and its agencies or the service providers in evacuation.
we are the one to transport people and mass volumes from areas likely to see how surges and flooding. and without transportation network that expand even for the mta, would go in the case of new jersey transit and path, without a doubt, though systems up and running, before and after the storm, you couldn't provide for the. so it's an extremely important point. >> well, thank you all for your testimony. i hope it makes the case with many of our colleagues here to understand the scope and magnitude of our challenge. and why we need a strong federal response to that challenge working with her state and regional partners. [inaudible] >> the record will remain open for one week for any member who wishes to submit any questions for the record eric we would ask all of our witnesses if they do receive questions, to please respond to it as ugly as possible. and with a thanks to the committee, this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
>> c-span spoke with two retired lawmakers, congressman dan burton and senator kent conrad. mr. burton and indiana republican, served in congress for 30 years, and in the 1990s chaired the house oversight committee. senator conrad, a north dakota democrat, has been in office for 20 years and chairs the senate budget committee. our interview with congressman burton is at 8 p.m. eastern tonight, and senator conrad follows at 8:30 p.m. >> the house and senate are back in session tomorrow. the senate is in at 10 a.m. eastern for work on two bills. the first would extend provisions of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. the other is a $60 billion relief package for areas affected by hurricane sandy. the house reconvenes at 2 p.m.
eastern. house leaders have not released the schedule of legislative activity for tomorrow. live coverage from the house floor on c-span and the senate is live on c-span2. >> you don't always find many newspaper editors in any era embracing investigative reporting, but the point we've seen over the years it's not just economics. it's the discomfort that investigative reporting causes in a newsroom. because it's trouble. is that more than economics. if you're going to ruffle the feathers of some and powerful, that powerful, that gets those people phoning in to complain to the publisher. and their stories are legion over the years about those kind of things happen. just let the chips fall where they may. >> to surprise winning investigative team will take your calls, e-mails and tweets
next month on in depth, the depth, but there have begin the collaborative work in the '70s are the co-authors of the books. their latest, "the betrayal of the american dream," watch live sunday january 6 at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2. ♪ ♪ >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we all live ourselves with those forces which are bringing about this suffering. >> the white house is a point pulpit and you are to take advantage of it spent obesity in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis. spent i think i just had -- when someone had their own agenda. >> it would be such a shame to waste it. >> i think they serve as a
window on the path to what was going on with american women spend she becomes the chief confidant. she's really the only one in the world who can trust. >> many of the women were first ladies were writers. they wrote books. >> they are in many cases quite frankly more interesting as human beings than her husband. if only because they are not first and foremost limited by political ambition. >> dolly was both a socially adept and politically savvy. >> dolly madison loved every minute of it. mrs. munro hated it. absolutely hated it spent she warned her husband. you know, you can't rule without including what women want and what women have to contribute spent during the statement he was a little breathless and it was too much looking that i think goes a little too fast.
a change of pace. >> yes, ma'am. >> probably the most tragic of all of our first ladies, they never should have married. >> she later wrote in her memoir that she said i, myself, never made any decision. i only decided what was important, and went to resend it to my husband. >> you stop and think about how much power that is. it's a lot of power. >> prior to the battle against cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she transform the way we look at these bugaboos, and made a possible for countless people to survive, as a result. i don't know how many presidents realistically have the kind of impact on the way we live our lives.
>> just walking around the white house grounds, i am constantly reminded about all of the people of lived there before, and particularly all of the women. >> first ladies, influence and image, a new series on c-span, produced in cooperation with the white house historical association. starting presidents' day february 18. >> the alliance for health reform last week look at proposals to raise medicare's eligibility age. we will hear from representatives of the kaiser family foundation, aarp, and the american benefits council. this is just over an hour and a half. >> if i can have your attention, we're going to try to get started. my name is ed howard. i'm with the alliance for health
reform, and i want to welcome you on behalf of our board of directors and on a very leadership, senators rockefeller and blunt, to a program about proposals to gradually increase the age for medicare eligibility from 65 years to 67. now, it's a topic that's been under discussion for a long time, back when i was on the staff of the then existing house aging committee. this was a topic that came up from time to time. it's particularly coming up now, of course, in light of the ongoing rise in the age for full social security benefits, 65 to 67. and, of course, it's front and center in the current discussions about how to curb the federal deficits and avoid having us fling ourselves over the so-called fiscal cliff in a couple of weeks.
we are trying to sort out the pluses and minuses of this proposal, which we find is more complicated than one might imagine, and it's complicated further by the shifting landscape of medicare policy, federal health policy, in light of the affordable care act, and the state of health care system generally. hence, today's program, and we're going to take a close look at some of the pros and cons with the help of some of the country's leading medicare and retirement policy analysts. we are pleased to have as a partner in today's program, a kaiser family foundation, leader in health policy analysis and health journalism and communication. we're especially happy to have as a co-moderator today, tricia neuman, whose the senior vice president of the foundation and a director of its program on
medicare policy. and i have a quick note for you. if you are watching live on c-span, or for that matter watching the webcast, which will be available beginning sometime tomorrow, you can find copies of the materials that have been handed out to those in the room, including copies of the slides that the speakers are going to use. and tricia will be using some slides as well on allhealth.org, and kff.org. so follow along if you care to, and have the requisite technology in front of you. trisha, thank you for an being with us, and thanks for cosponsoring this event. >> thank you, ed. it is great to be here, and i am thrilled that we're here to talk about a topic that seems to be front and center. this has been an issue, it's
been talked about for many, many, many years, but seems to be on the front burner today. i guess we could call it an on again off again on again proposal. but it's not really clear where it is in current budget discussion. so i think it's very important that we're all here to understand what the policy means and what the potential applications could be. i'm just going to briefly set up the remarks from our colleagues, if i can. [inaudible] >> could i have the first slide? great. okay, so medicare eligibility has been, the idea of raising the age of eligibility is a certain something that is on the table. it has been talked about serving in conjunction with raising the age of eligibility for social security which was done many years ago. why is it on the table? i think the most obvious answer
is because that would be a source of savings for the federal government and for medicare. the congressional budget office, when the last look at an option, said that it would reduce medicare spending by $113 billion over 10 years. if the age of eligibility was phased in over time, increased, by the way the savings would be considerably higher if it were not done in an environment where the health reform law was passed that included federal spending for subsidies for people in the exchange, and the cost associate with low-income people would shift to medicaid. prior to the health reform law when people talk about raising the age of medicare eligibility, the big issue on the table was what would happen to 65 and 66 year old who would lose access to affordable coverage. may not go to get health insurance coverage at all. with the health reform law now about to be implemented, the
discussion has changed somewhat since the health reform law does provide avenues for people to get health insurance coverage. there are a lot of unanswered questions, the supreme court decision, and the flexibility that it has given states come raises questions about whether low-income people throughout the country are 65 and 66 will be able to get medicaid in every state. this is a great example of a policy that seems very straightforward for medicare. medicare saves money with fewer people on the program. but i think as you will hear, this policy has ripple effects across the health care sector. and i'm really looking for door -- looking forward to our panel discussion so we can learn more about what effects might be. >> thanks very much, tricia. there are lots of materials in quick logistical notes. your packets. those are part of what is on a one page list of materials that
is available on our website that's much more extensive. i call your attention also to the blue evaluation form which we hope you will fill out before you leave to help us improve these programs. and cover topics that you would like to see us cover. and when we get to the q&a, there is a green card in your package you can write a question on, as well as, as well as the use of the microphones to ask the question orally. so let's get started. we do have as i said some terrific panelists who will give us some brief presentations, and then we'll get to an extensive -- intra- panel conversation and q&a. we're going to start with doctor juliette cubanski, who is the associate director of kaiser's medicare policy program and a main author of a whole series of analyses, looking at proposals to reshape the medicare program, see for example, the pretty blue monograph in your packets on
raising the medicare eligibility age. juliette, thanks for being with us. >> thank you, ed. here we go. is that better? thanks, ed, and as ed said, i'm juliette cubanski. i am associate director of the program for medicare policy of the kaiser foundation. tricia gave you a pretty nice concise overview of the option to raise the age of eligibility for medicare. so i'm going to dive right into the results of a study that we at the kaiser family foundation conducted with colleagues at actual research corporation to analyze the effects of raising the age of eligibility for medicare from 65 to 67. if the proposal was fully implement it in 2014. sorry, can i go back?
so we a simple application in 2014 of his proposal in order to calculate the full year, fully implement effects in the current budget window. although most of the proposals to raise the age of eligibility would actually face in overtime. our study is the first to look at the effects of increasing medicare's eligibility age in the post a ca era. and that's important because it, to some extent, alleviates the concern that tricia mentioned that people who lost their eligibility for medicare would lose access to health insurance entirely. because under the health reform law they would have access to new sources of coverage. so our study also goes beyond some of the other analyses to look at the effects of raising the age of eligibility, not just on federal spending and on medicare spending, and also on state spending, on out of pocket
costs for the 65 and 66 year olds who shipped out of medicare, on employer costs, on costs for part b premiums for people to remain on medicare, on the exchange premiums for younger enrollees, as well as the total health spending affects of all these changes across all the different payers. we estimated that about 5 million, 65 and 66 year old would be affected if this proposal were implemented in 2014. we assumed that all would have coverage from another source, if not medicare, although the supreme court's decision to make the medicaid expansion optional calls this assumption into question to some degree. in terms of the distribution of those beneficiaries who are affected by this proposal, as you can see on this slide, 42% would be expected to receive coverage from an employer past, from retiree plans and the other
half of active workers or spouses of active workers. 20% would be covered by medicaid, including those who would've been covered by both medicare and medicaid as dual eligibles. as well as those who would qualify because they have become 133% of poverty would qualify for the new medicaid expansion. and just about 40% would receive coverage through the new exchanges. in terms of the effect of raising eligibility age on beneficiaries out of pocket spending, the direction and magnitude depends on a number of factors, including whether people would be covered by medicaid, or whether they would receive subsidies for coverage to the exchange. our analysis takes into account all of the expected costs that 65 and 66 euros would have faced if they were enrolled in medicare, including their medicare part b premium come and premiums for supplemental coverage they may have had come and their out of pocket costs for medicare covered services.
and then the expected cost sharing and other sources of health insurance in lieu of medicare. our analysis shows that about two-thirds are is better thirds are as they are today, two-thirds of the 5 million, are estimated to pay more as a result of shifting from medicare to another source of coverage. on average, about $2200 more. and one-third are estimated to pay less under the new source of coverage than they would've paid out of pocket under medicare. on average, about $2300 more. the one-third who are projected to have lower out of pocket spending include people who would qualify for the medicaid expansion, and those with relatively low incomes would qualify for a more generous subsidies through the exchanges. the group that we estimated that would save the most is an estimate 860,000 new medicaid enrollees, those with incomes below 133% of poverty. but two-thirds are as a better to have higher out of pocket
spending include people with incomes above 300% of the federal poverty level who received either less generous subsidies or no subsidies for exchange coverage, and those with employer-sponsored interest. the group that bears the largest increase we estimated to be roughly 1 million people with incomes above 400% of poverty, who receive coverage under the exchange. so now i want to shift to the impact on federal and state spending, and the effects on spending by other payers. net medicare savings we estimated to be at $23.5 billion. this is savings from not paying cost for those 65- to 67-year olds who are no longer eligible for medicare, minus of the premiums for part b that those individuals would otherwise have paid. in terms of the impact on total federal spending, the growth federal savings our estimate it to be just over $30 billion, but
federal spending increases by about $8 billion from medicaid as the low income 65 and 66 year old shift to medicaid coverage. by about $9.5 billion to the exchange for subsidies for those who shipped out of medicare, and qualify for exchange of subsidies. there's a revenue decline from the part b premiums that are no longer paid by these 65 and 66 year old. so on net our analysis suggests that federal spending is estimated to decline by 5.7 been in 2014. in terms of out of pocket costs and we estimate higher net out of pocket cost as a result of this policy, partly due to an increase in part b premiums, made by people aged 67 and older who remained on medicare in 2014. this is because you are removing the relatively healthy 65 and 66 year old from the medicare risk
pool so that risk pool gets a little bit thicker and costlier on average. and there's also an increase in the premiums paid by those under age 65 who purchase coverage through the exchange, because we are shifting to lower costs, 65 and 66 year old, out of medicare and into the exchange. we estimated employer costs would increase by about $4.5 billion which results from employer plans becoming primary rather than secondary payers. wrapping around medicare. now that medicare is no longer the primary payer, they become primary. we estimate total premiums will increase as result which would increase cost for employers and retirees, each of whom are expected to pay about half of a higher premium total. state medicaid spending is estimated to increase by just under a billion dollars in 2014. this is mainly a combination of increased spending on medicare part d premiums for the dual eligibles ages 67 and older but
as i mentioned a seat -- it says they to increase the part b premium for medicare enrollees. in the state savings associate with not paying medicare premium for those aged 65 and 66 who would have been tools. so when you add it all up, the bottom line for our analysis is has been that federal savings of high point $7 billion, but net increase cost of $11.4 billion to other payers for a net result of $5.7 billion in increased costs overall. so to sum it all up and we estimate the raising the age of eligibility for medicare as fully as amended in 2014 would reduce medicare spending, although less than previously estimated because of the new cost of providing subsidize coverage to those who qualify for the exchange coverage, or medicaid. it would reduce out of pocket costs for 65- and 66-year olds with relatively low income while increasing costs for others, including the majority of those
aged 65 and 66 with incomes above 200% above the poverty, adults younger than age 55 in the exchange, and seniors and people with disabilities remain on medicare. to our analysis really underscores the importance of carefully assessing the distribution will affect of medicare reform proposals by breaking the age of eligibility, clearly savings to the federal government is an important goal in current discussion, but within health policy circles, of course, a lot of attention is being focused on keeping our eyes on the price of lowering health care spending over all, which our analysis suggests is not achieved by raising medicare's eligibility age. so with that i would turn it back over to ed. >> thanks to much, juliette. now we will turn to gail wilensky, who has no slides, so don't have to worry about getting her -- she is a senior fellow at project hope. she's also a former medicare administrator, a former health policy adviser to the president,
one of america's most respected health economists, and i'm pleased to say a frequent contributor to alliance programs, gayle, thanks for joining us today. [inaudible] >> you should see a red light. >> okay, thank you, ed. i'm delighted to be here. i'm going to try to make four or five points, quickly, and i look forward to the discussion. i found the analysis that we just heard that kaiser family foundation has done very interesting in looking what they see as the likelihood of what would happen if the increase in eligibility were to be instantly implemented in 2014. although as has been indicated, that is generally not the proposal. and while i appreciate the qualification, i think it's important to understand there was one assumption that was never made, and that is that
they would be any behavioral change as a result of the change policy. for many of us who support the notion of increasing the age of eligibility for medicare, and i'm going to qualify in a minute, it would be within the context of part of a set of fiscal policies that need to be enacted in order to encourage individuals to change their vision of appropriate retirement age, from something first enunciated by bismarck in late 19th century, to something that is more reflective of the increased longevity that has occurred, and that needs to be consistent with the way to make it easier for people to stay in the labor force longer. obviously, this is something that would occur over time and not indeed be instantly put into effect in 2014. you have in your packet a piece
i wrote earlier in the year where i articulated what i thought were emerging elements of bipartisan agreement of ways to try to reform medicare, oh, what a difference an election makes. it was earlier in the year regarded by none other than the president as an element that should be considered as a way to try to reform medicare. times do change. it makes it less likely now with the political shift, but i think it still remains an important issue to consider. and let me explain what the pros and cons as i see. first, it is not a panacea to medicare. yes, the 65 and 66 euros our elder than the average medicare individual.
cbo estimates you've cbo estimates your part to range somewhere between 113 and 130 billion over 10 years, depending on when the estimates have been made. nonetheless, as a part of a strategy to try to encourage people to stay in the labor force longer, but not the only one for sure, it makes sense. why is that? well, as you know there's been a substantial increase in longevity. when social security was adopted in 1935, neither men nor women lived to 65. when medicare was adopted in 1965, men were living slightly more than 65, less the 67, and women almost 74. there's been increased since then and we are now talking high '70s for males and into the '80s for females. that is not uniform. i understand the.
i'm speaking tomorrow at an and h. conference on on finding ways to reduce disparity, but it is clearly true in general. and what we need is to try to find ways to try to encourage people to participate in the labor force longer, not only for our sake but for their sake as well. being contributors to rather than net takers from the public. it will require a number of changes. this one if done carefully could be one such component. second issue is that medicare has a serious long-term problem. one that is not likely to be resolved only by increased financing. as most of you know there will be a doubling of the population when the baby boomers finish retiring. that is associated with moving from all the entitlement
spending of about 10% now to more than 50% of the gdp in 2030. that is an indication of a very serious change that we're going to have to look going forward some people have commented that medicaid spending, at least on a per person basis looked at over this decade is looking pretty good, the growth in medicare spending is, has been officially projected as result of the affordable care act to grow at about the rate of the economy. but, of course, we all should recognize that what we are seeing are the results of projections that incorporate medicare's paying the providers of services less, not medicare costing less. this is a really important distinction. paying less isn't the same as services costing less.
in fact, it is one of the reasons that the medicare actuary has repeatedly said in public that he questions whether the accumulation of reductions in payment will be able to be sustained because without a real reduction in the cost, it will lead to access problems. and at least of florida, reductions in payments have not been sustainable in medicare for that very reason. they are promising changes that could be implemented in medicare result of pilot programs or things going on in the private sector, but right now we need to recognize that what we are observing are reduced payments from medicare, not reduced costs for medicare. so that is an issue that will continue to have to deal with. what we really need to consider is how can we implement, if we
want to implement such programs, in a way that recognizes most individuals can work after the age of 65, although there's an increase in the number of people who are experiencing disability and, therefore, would not be able to work. one is to have a differential allowed so that people are not able to work because of disability would qualify for medicare as it exists now. to some extent, that already would exist by default because of the ssi provisions that allow for people to go on to medicare as a result of visibility. there's another interesting concept that was raised last may of talking about whether or not raising the age of eligibility to correspond to lifetime wealth is something that ought to be explored. and the idea there is to say that people who have had higher lifetime wealth would be
expected to join medicare and perhaps social security at older ages then people have had low amount of lifetime wealth, for whatever reason. the issue really is to recognize that the stress that we are going to see going forward in the medicare program, particularly after the end of this decade, even given the assumption that all of the currently legislated reduction in the affordable care act actually occurred is going to put enormous pressure on introducing change into the system. and one, as i've said earlier, that would be very hard to accomplish simply by raising financing, trying to decide what those changes are that makes sense, allowing ourselves all little run room so that we could
introduce them in a phased way over the course of five or 10 years, signaling people who were going into retirement that they should have different expectations about the program that they will face would be enormously helpful. unfortunately, that has not been our strong point, and as i've been commenting for the last several years, i don't know yet that the country is ready to consider in a major way entitlement reforms right now, or in 2013 more appropriately, for a simple reason. and that's because we don't have to right now. whoever has the fortune, or misfortune, to be elected president in 2016, and and speculation has already started i've noticed, is not going to be able to delay it any longer if
we go that far because of the accumulator effect of baby boomers on the retirement. but it sure would help if we could make up her mind about what we are going to do to make medicare sustainable over the long haul, at least the next couple of decades. >> thank you so much, gayle. we're going to turn next to david certner who is the legislative counselor for aarp, and the director of aarp's legislative policy for government affairs. and he does have a slider to. dave is an attorney with a rich background in retirement benefits, among other things, and he has been a aarp law before it became aarp. so we have the voice of experience with us. david. >> thank you, thanks very much for kaiser doing great work, and i will refer to some of the numbers as well. but for someone to start by just are not as a medicare beneficiary population is,
because sometimes people think that this is a population that is much better off than it actually is. so if we could take a look at the first slide. you will see where beneficiaries generally stand from an income perspective, and you can see from this slide that the median income for a beneficiary is basically a little under $22,000. even if you go up to the 75th percentile, so three quarters of all beneficiaries with incomes of $40,000 or less, many of those who are above that level actually have higher incomes but they are still working and have wage income. so by and so by large a medicare beneficiary is a very modest income population. i think this is important to understand what we're talking about, raising medicare eligibility age, because raising the medicare eligibility age is at the very court simply a large cost share. we're asking someone to pick up a lot more cost. one of the folks we're asking to pick up a lot more of the costs are that medicare beneficiaries
who are 65 and 66, who are already at very modest levels of income. also as you can see from the next slide, and the fisheries already spend a fair amount of the income on health care spending. it's one of their largest cost for seniors. so the typical scene is already spending about 70% on their income on health care. and i know in talking with lots of our members and having, talking to many members of congress, very few of them will come back and say that what they've heard from the constituents is that people don't think their paying enough for health care. people are already paying a lot for health care in this country, particularly seniors. so when we're talking about a giant cost shift come is critical to matter who the population we're talking about, with incomes are and what they're already spent on health care. another argument that we heard is what we should maybe make social security and medicare more similar. and, therefore, raising the medicare age makes sense. but, of course, this argument really turns the whole issue on its head and doesn't make sense
in the. because the social security age while it is raised to 67, you can still get access to socialist to charity age of 62. anybody who need social security can get access to it with the actuarial reduction. so people who need a benefit don't lose that coverage. so if we're really looking are behind you would be talking about lowering the medicare age because most people actually claimed their social security benefits at age 62. 60 being the age at which most people claim the benefit. but by the time you get to 65, the vast majority of people have already claimed their social security benefit. so this is a significant difference between social security and medicare. you can always get access to your medicare benefits. this proposal would take away coverage for people who wouldn't be able to get it under the program more importantly though when you think about social security versus medicare, part of the reason that you're trying to talk about raising the social security age, and this again, this was done back in 1983 and we're still raising it which gives you a sense of the long face in time that was originally
set for this program. still happening almost 40 years later. the key distinction here is that you can delay getting social security if you're still working because you don't need social security. if you're still working and still of income, then you don't need social security. you can put it off until later. but if you delay retirement and are still working, you still need insurance. that need doesn't go away. is a fundamental distinction. if you're 65 and 66, you still need health insurance. so where does that leave us? that leaves us to my final site which basically shows you, as the numbers we talked about earlier, the difference in cost for somebody who is trying to get health care through medicare, or through an employer provided system, the employer-provided system costs costs a lot more than medicare. and so by pushing people into a
different system and out of medicare, what are we doing? we are accomplishing raising health care costs, not lowering health care costs, in this country. and the focus you shouldn't really be on how much the federal government is spending on health care. the really big problem is how much of the country is spending on health care. and a generation ago when i started working, we were spending about 10% of the country's gdp on health care. we are about to hit 20% on health care. so more and more of the health care dollars are going come more and more of the nation's dollars are going to health care. that's a big fundamental problem we should be addressing. and by shifting more people out of medicare into a more fragmented, more costly system, we may be saving the federal government money but we are actually making the underlying problem, the real problem worse. we will be spending more money on health care. and i thank kaiser for their numbers on this because i think they show will be what's happening here by pushing people into different programs, if you
push them into medicaid or the employer provided system, or by the way, we can talk about the fact that cbo estimates that about 5% or so would be uninsured, and not have coverage at all. that we are pushing people into a more costly system. and so we are not saving the country in human at all. in fact, we are costing the country money. we are raising health care costs in this country, and when you think about the big debate we just had over health care, regardless of whether you support, you know, health care reform act, i think most people supported the underlying goals of the bill, which were we want to try to improve coverage in this country while lowering health care costs. and this proposal does exactly the opposite. it increases the number of people who don't have insurance and it raises overall health care costs. so to us it's a very simple and bad solution. and it's actually looking at the wrong problem. the problem is health care costs. and we are actually making
health care costs worse. and so we reject this as a way to move. now, medicare as a program, and can certainly be made more efficient than even his today. we think medicare can do better job, for example, with care coordination and with transition between settings. and that's the way to make health care more efficient, save money and healthier, make people healthier and to cost less by simply raising the age instantly telling people you have to pay more for coverage. and by the way, some of you won't be able to afford your coverage at all. even those who have the exchanges available to them, assuming they are eligible to subsidies. so people in the exchanges are 65 and 66 will be paying three times as much as a younger person for health care. so there are significant costs that we're shifting onto the population. and again i go back to the population we are talking about. we are talking about a population as a meeting income of $22,000, and as kaisers numbers show, the average cost
increase for people who will see an increase our $2200. so another 10% of their income would be going to health care. and i suggest to you that for those people this is not really an affordable cost share. and particularly if were talking about a deficit reduction context, and i think if we're talking about the fact that this is really not good health policy in this country, it simply raises health care cost, it's not really good health policy. some will argue we need for deficit reduction purposes. we need to load the about that outcome is spending on health care, so this is an important deficit reduction policy. but i would ask you, is the right of this group of people, 65- and 66-year olds, bearing the very large costs. is this the group you think should be bearing huge parts? i would argue this is not a particularly fair shared version of this group of people to be sharing 10% of their income in addition to growing health care cost. it's really not something that they can there. so for us this is a pretty
simple equation. it doesn't make sense as a matter of health policy. it raises costs. it doesn't lower than. it increases the number of uninsured. it increases premiums for everybody else who remains in medicare because you have now taken younger people and healthier people out of medicare. .. >> i think we got that point.
thank you, david. our final presentation is from paul dennett who is the senior vice president for health care reform in the american benefits counsel. american benefits counsel work represents fortune by vendor companies that sponsor or administer health and retirement benefits affecting about 100 million americans. paul has also served in senior positions at hhs and has done a stand here on the hill and is well positioned to offer comments about the proposal at hand. paul, thank you for joining us. >> thanks ed and thanks for the invitation to join you. for those of you who are taking notes i'm going to make three points and even if you don't to simply help you to understand where the sub points are going. the first is how employees are not the same. we look at the impact on employers ,-com,-com ma we
really have to look behind that in terms of which employers are we talking about. the second is kind of follows on the first point which is the response among employers to exchange public policy change of the sword will also vary and it won't be the same. there'll be different responses from different groups of employers and might third basically is that context here matters a lot, particularly to the same employers but typically that would offer these types of benefits to employees. and to retirees. so let's go back to the first about not all employers are the same. i think one of the major contributions of the study that was done by kaiser family foundation that juliette walked through were two things. one is it's one of the first things that takes a look at the post-health care reform world, and reminds us that world changes a lot of the typical analysis that was done in the
past about the effects of policy changes in the medicare program and you need to update all of your assumptions based on how people will behave in a post-reform world. bad in itself is a major contribution. the other though was that it looks at the distributional effect of these types of policy changes. when you look just at the employer community, i think it's really important to understand exactly where retiree health benefits are. there was a recent study in october of 2012 i.v. employee benefits research system that found that, no great surprise, that the existence of retiree health benefits have been declining and you can really marked the decline of retiree health benefits from 1990 which was the introduction of the financial accounting standards policy called fast 106 which required employers to account
for not just the present year in liability for making commitments for benefits to employees, but the whole stream of future liability and discount that back to their viability look in the current year. that had a major impact on employers behavior because the biggest out-year liability that they had committed to was in the health care side. so since that time, retiree health benefits have really been declining almost every year. right now according to the study done a couple of months ago, there is only 6% of employers overall that can provide retiree health benefits to employees. if you look at firms with over 1000 employees, now you are beginning to look at where the benefit resides. it jumps up to over 30% of those firms and actually if you took the number even higher, you
really get at the kinds of firms in the private sector that still have a retire health benefits and those are industrieindustrie s like automotive and other large manufacturing, telecommunications, defense and aerospace. outside of some of these industry sectors, very difficult to find a retiree health benefits and also among smaller or midsized employers basically is now nonexistent. so the effect for most of us who would retire without retiree health coverage from most employers certainly smaller midsized employers are large employers that don't offer the benefits, a change in the medicare eligibility age which be the extent to which change encourages people to work longer in their jobs. something they gail alluded to earlier. is that a good thing? is that a bad thing? many employers are looking for older workers to stay in the workforce longer for many
individuals. it's going to be offset by the fact that post-health care reform, post 2014, that there will be probably also individuals over age 50 or over age 55 who would no longer face a job block and who will be able to move out of employment because they are not as concerned about staying in until medicare eligibility age and get coverage through exchanges or coverage through another employer, with more freedom to move around than there had been before. yet on the margin it willing courage some employees to stay in the workforce longer because health care health care typically is subsidized by employers who remain in the workforce, that 75 to 80% of the cost and is juliette pointed out in david also, that many individuals, particularly those
above 300% of the federal poverty level, won't qualify for coverage in the -- -- will qualify for coverage but not premiums and the health insurance exchanges. so they would be better off with just the health care subsidy point of view by retaining coverage through their employer plan. that won't be true of everyone and some people will leave earlier than they might have otherwise. secondly, the point that the response among employers berries and now we are just talking among those over 1000 employees/employers who offer retiree health coverage to their employees or their former employees. it's important to know that in many cases, there were really two different ways which an individual who retires prior to the age of 65, what the duration of that coverage will be if they are fortunate enough to have it from their former employer.
one is that the coverage ends at the time they become eligible for medicare and that is where their contract reads. that is the commitment that has been made. so if the public policy is that each eligibility changes as it goes further out, so with their health care coverage. however, others are in coverage that says that it ends at the time that they'd reached the age of 65 cents that was a proxy for medicare eligibility age. in that case those individuals would presumably get coverage on the exchange until such time as they become eligible for the eligibility date for medicare. either way, but particularly for those employers that would have policies that are written to say that it continues until the age of medicare eligibility, they will need time to conform any change of the sort. they can't just change these things on a dime.
that i think more importantly, one of the things that is true among employers generally offering retiree health is looking for a way to harmonize their strategy between their post-65 retirees and their pre-65 retirees. right now with most employers who offer retiree health do for those who are medicare eligible, essentially as defined contributions. pot of money given by an employer to allow those individuals to shop for health care coverage in an exchange just for medicare and the fisheries which is really about choosing medicare advantage plans for a prescription drug plan with finances that are provided by the former employer. employers that have already been looking at the possibility of doing something very similar to that for their pre-65 retirees, and the availability of coverage
in the exchanges may well give them that same ability anyway in order to move pre-65 retirees into a strategy where instead of the employers is sponsoring a plan for retirees and having them continue on in the employer's plan, they will simply provide financial assistance to the plan that an individual may choose on their own, either through public or emerging private health insurance exchanges. and in october 2011 by towers watson, a large benefits consulting firm, they found that only a small percentage of large employers really think that it's a realistic strategy, at least as of 2011, to move employees into health insurance exchanges as they are developing 2014. but many more, close to 40% of those same employers, thought that it was a very viable strategy to do so for retirees.
so a change in the medicare eligibility age, a wealth -- may well hasten the change from being a defined benefit plan sponsor for retiree health among employers to more of a defined contribution strategy, again something that employers are already doing for their post-65 retirees in many cases. and then finally the point that context matters, we have hired a lot about that already from the rest of the panelists. this won't he a change in all likelihood that comes up in isolation on its own. we are denial that it's being discussed as part of the negotiatinegotiati ons between the speaker and the president over possible ways to avoid the fiscal cliff. large employers are very actively encouraging those negotiations to succeed. very important from the health of the overall economy that does succeed or it could come up as
part of entitlement reform in which gail thinks may not occur until 2016 or beyond and it could come sooner or possibly even as part of a broader negotiation over tax reform. so you really have to look not a think just of the possibility of a change in medicare eligibility age for the broader context in which that change could come about. >> thank you very much, paul. to get to the point where we can hear your comments, here your questions. there are question card you can fill out and someone will bring it forward. there are microphones on either side of the round that you can line up behind to ask your question. i know tricia has been scribbling questions right and left as we were going through the presentations. do you want to start us off? >> sure. one of the ideas that gail
mentioned that has been put on the table is by zeke emanuel that would apply lifetimes earning test to wealthier people would have a delayed eligibility age. i guess my question is a former administrator involved in social security and medicare and irs may be, what is involved in making that happen and is that a viable option and what would happen to the savings that would be associated with the proposal? >> i haven't seen how zeke proposes to define lifetime earnings. anything that goes beyond current income, which the irs is very good at calculating, becomes very complicated as it attempts to define wealth, including assets, that are very
complicated. something that looks at lifetime earnings but that would be particularly complicated because that is already available to social security and to the calculated so it would depend very much on how it's done, and how it is phased in. phased-in. any of these changes are assumed to be phased-in because it's unfair to change the rules drastically for people who are into retirement or very close to retirement. it is really a signal to people who are in the labor force that no surprise to many of them if you ask them their expectations, that the entitlements as they have existed are going to change for them and the sooner we can decide what that package looks like so they can plan their response, the better off we will
be. it's really again, if you assume no behavioral change, this doesn't look particularly attractive. it is all about trying to put together a package of fiscal policies that began changing the expectation that a number that was somewhat arbitrarily chosen in the late 19th century and that remains pretty irrelevant even through the start of medicare at a certain age is no longer irrelevant at all and with every expectation it will continue to see decreases in longevity, very longer periods in retirement, as we now define it. >> i think is worth adding to that, talking about medicare being based on lifetime income, i think it ignores the fact that many already are heavily income tested. obviously there is no income cap
right now on the payroll tax cap for social security so you pay payroll taxes on all of your income. there is an income related premium for part v. and an income related premium for part d. you have a portion of your social security tax that goes to medicare. now there is an additional tax on unearned in -- income that goes to medicare so medicare is a heavily income related program right now and they think in fact people on the higher and are getting anywhere close back out from the medicare program what they have been contributing to. >> we have someone at the microphone and we would ask you to identify yourself and keep your question as brief as you can. >> yes, bob with british medical journal. most of the talk it's been about impact on the federal budget and balancing one versus another. what analysis has been done on
the exchanges, on the impact of the employability of seniors if an employer has to carry these additional costs for an extended period of time? by hypothesis would be that they would make them less employable in some ways. either that, or takes away from employers providing insurance. on the consumer side, how is it that these increased costs affect access to care and quality of care? >> paul, do you want to start the first part of that? >> sure. on your first question, i have actually not heard anyone or any of the studies suggest that any of the medicare eligibility age would increase where employers would not offer coverage at all. for the vast majority of them,
employers outside of industries where retiree health plans are highly concentrated, in fact the medicare eligibility age would be large in some employees would continue in the workforce longer because of the subsidies they receive from their employer for health insurance that exceeds the subsidy that they would exceed if they got it on their own for health insurance exchange by not qualifying for one at all. but it could also be offset by individuals who no longer have job lock, hugo do independent consulting our work for nonprofits where they don't provide health care coverage because they have coverage through health insurance exchange is the post-reform, it eliminates one of the reasons that you have older workers until eligibility age which is a trained -- concerned that they can get coverage and now it becomes an affordable --
affordability question. >> i think we just heard a little bit about what the consumers will wind up going into different pots and i think particularly from our perspective. we know it's just going to cost the individual a lot more. haps a couple thousand dollars more and that of course will lead to the fact that some people simply won't be able to afford it and will end up with hundreds of thousands more uninsured ages 65 and 66. we also know what happened to people now who are 63, 64 who don't have health insurance. many of them come and we hear from them all the time, basically saying they're hanging on until they get to medicare eligibility age and hopefully they won't have a major event. they end up not getting health care during that time period and of course we know what happens to people who don't get the health care they need. fan of getting on the medicare program much sicker and it ends up costing the medicare program even more. it's clear when people have
coverage we can keep them healthier and do something to save costs in the long run as well. we just saw a study this past month on the prescription drug in a fit with a basically rescored the problem -- program is costing a lot less undiscovered basically meant people were getting the medication that they needed their needed their health care costs tended to be a lot lower so the score went down for the drug benefit. i think you'll hear more on the costs that are being shifted off somewhere else and people are going to be sicker and therefore the cost will be would hire. >> that is appointed the aca that you have this discussion in a way that is much harder to have before. it is really saying, for those who are able to continue working, can we begin to re-orient and the expectation for the next generation which is what we are talking about,
recognizing that for people who are in that now pre-medicare age, they will no longer have to postpone health care because they have options. it is why this discussion takes on a whole different tone as a result. >> i would say we have options that we don't know if they are affordable options and that is really the big difference. >> i will milliken, a immediate. what can we learn from other countries? i am wondering if any of you have studied the health benefit programs elsewhere and do any have comparable insurance programs in what has been the experience in other nations? >> most of them are struggling muddling with the promises they have made which encourage people to retire even earlier than they do in the united states and
finding themselves in very significant fiscal problems. france has to be the poster child of all, although maybe greece would take number one. >> we to know that the u.s. spends a larger percentagpercentag e of gdp on health care than any other developed nation by fairly significant amount. really tackling that underlying issue of what percent of our economy is going to health care in general is really the key issue and we should be focused on that much more than the federal government's portion of it and in this case we have a proposal that would actually increase the share of gdp going to help her, taking us in the wrong direction. >> that is assuming that medicare spending with medicare costs and again as somebody usa ran the program -- [inaudible] >> this one is definitely for you specifically and aarp.
the question is this. what scorable savings proposal does aarp support or for medicare, beyond better coordination does aarp support means testing, combining parts a and beet are sharing our medigap reform or anything else? >> i think it's important to remind everybody that we recently had a large health care bill called the affordable care act which include $720 billion in medicare savings which i'm sure many of you heard throughout the year. most candidates talked about it so it's not as if we have and can if we haven't conjugated a significant amount of savings to medicare already. we think we can do more in terms of medicare to make the program a more efficient, less wasteful and focus more on the quality of care. their number of strategies around that and there are no-till for bullet that it apply to medicare but health care in general and it is really about
making the health care delivery system more efficient. that means a better job of court cared -- care coordination, better job of using benefits and health information technology. certainly going after waste and fraud can help. we know there is waste and fraud in the medicare program but these are all different strategies to make health care more efficient and save money as opposed to the conversation we are having here today. how do we shift costs? we need to move away from that kind of a conversation and get through a conversation of how we lower overall health care costs, not just how we shift costs and in this case it's larger than the amount we are saving. >> i have got a question here that sort of tickles my bones because it channels my old boss, claude pepper. though some employers value 50 plus-year-old workers, many others offer incentives to reduce their older workforce and/or are reluctant to hire
workers 50 years and older. could the panel speak to the effect of this dynamic on a potential increase in the medicare eligibility age? >> yes many of you know, there is an expectation of problems stemming from the baby bust generation and lower cohorts entering into the labor force in the future. it is why many have thought the potential for having older workers be increasingly regarded as valuable as highly regulated and one of the questions that was raised is, can the federal government help begin to craft better fiscal policies that recognize the increase flexibility that many older workers will want and to try to make accommodations.
because of how long i've been doing this, i am finding it hard not to think this sounds hauntingly like the questions posed about whether or not employers would hire women during child airing ages that came up in the 1970s and how would they make those accommodations? both the additional demand for such individuals in the labor force and the willingness for working women to continue to work has made that now seem rather quaint and old-fashioned, and i suspect in the course of the next decade, as we, out of our current excess supply of workers and go back to a more normal period, older workers will become increasingly desirable and employers will have a lot of reason to try to keep them in the labor force
especially if we can make it a bit easier for them. >> we would certainly agree we would like to encourage people who can work to work longer, but our observation at the current time is that employers demand older workers, and there has been an uptick in the number of older workers in the last 20 years but the demand is usually for higher skilled who tend to be better paid workers who employers demand they maintain the workforce and not as much so for the lower scale, lower paid workers. an interesting point that goes along with that, if we look at increases in longevity you will see a very dramatic difference between increases in longevity between people who are hiring, and those that are lower income. the significant gain among higher income individuals and particularly at the lower and longevity over the last generation has been very slack.
>> paul do you have a comment? >> i would build on the comments from both gil and david that we are saving a chef for employers valuing older workers. that is definitely been something that i have seen over the past 15 or 20 years too. there is more a recognition of the importance of maintaining your talent for longer periods of time and if anything one of the first thing i think employers identify as a concern about the availability of subsidies, subsidize coverage and health insurance exchanges that might encourage some of the workers who they want to remain in the workforce longer to leave sooner than they might otherwise. i think that's just one of the realities as i started out with my comments. i think one of the really big contributions that juliet and the kaiser family foundation in general did with their study of
really being one of the first to look at the whole world and ask questions of how does the analysis of public policy change once you factor in the enactment of the affordable care act in division of 2014? >> this is a question for juliet. the kaiser study estimates spending based on full medicaid coverage. everybody who is eligible for medicaid is assumed that 100% would get coverage. so there questions both are questions both about coverage and costs. now the study is done and we know it's going into the real world. what are the more likely effects on coverage and what are the more likely effects on medicaid costs? okay so i am going to broaden the question a little bit to talk about vfx for all covered sources. we assume as i said that
everybody who lost eligibility from medicare would take up another source of coverage, depending on their access to employer coverage or their incomes which might qualify them for subsidies for medicaid coverage. so, first let's take the question of the individual mandate and premium subsidies in the exchanges. there have been questions raised about what happens if people 65 and 66 don't have medicare and can i qualify for these? there is no mention of a specific age for qualification. subsidies for exchange coverage so presumably if people didn't have access to medicare they could depending on their income for whatever subsidies they are entitled to. is a different story for the medicaid expansion. the apa specifically does limit eligibility for the new medicaid coverage to people under 65 so
presumably there would need to be a statutory change of the medicare eligibility age was raised to 67 are even higher. that provision would need to change to enable people to qualify for the medicaid expansion. if they don't expand medicaid, those adults with incomes between 100% and 138% of poverty would be eligible for subsidies in the exchange and they would be subject to the mandate. but, for people with income below 110% of poverty in states that do not opt for medicaid expansion, they would not be eligible for medicaid or exchange because the laws exposed to people that covers 100%. however having spoken to my colleagues at kaiser about the issue who have followed this
issue more carefully than i have, they have said that secretary sebelius has said that these individuals would not be subject to any of the mandate penalties if they lived in a state that did not expand medicaid and cover the coverage gap. >> but then would they be uninsured? >> presumably -- >> the questioner really want to know, do we know how many people could potential he be uninsured? >> well, we don't really have an estimate since we didn't factor this. our analysis was conducted prior to the supreme court's consideration of the case and the supreme court's decision. but i believe there was another analysis done of this issue i think by the center for american progress. i'm not exactly sure which but anyway there has been recent analysis and looking at numbers
potentially for those individuals who are living in states that have expressed a lack of interest in expanding their medicaid program. >> while i have the mic, there were a few other technical questions. one was within 100% idle payments on medicaid, because it was implemented in 2014 and some have pointed out that there was need -- inaudmacinaudmac k. >> the state contribution for the new medicaid expansion is financially zero. 100% federal share until 2017 i believe and down to 90% of the next few years so states would pick up a slightly smaller -- the effects that we found net to a $0.7 billion so not a huge number in and the year of our analysis but that would be a slightly larger number in the later years of this proposal.
>> one more for you and then we will spread it out. why are your numbers different from the congressional budget office? >> cbo did an analysis for age of eligibility and they also began implementation of a higher eligibility age in 2014 however they modeled the phased in approach on proposals and we are more likely to see. so their analysis was over a 10 year budget window and ours was a year of full implementation. there are some differences in the assumptions that they made in terms of they assume that 5% of the total population at 65 to 66-year-olds would go without insurance where we assumed 100% coverage, and there are other slightly more technical differences and assumptions but i think the largest one is the fact that they were looking over
a longer period of time in the proposal. >> we have got a question here. >> several of the speakers have used average amounts in making their calculations, but that significant difference are evident once you analyze different income groups and although this questioner would ask this question to the aarp i think we would be interested in hearing from other panelists as well. since those below median income will be treated very differently, and i'm not sure that is quite right, from the average, what if the policy focused only on those in upper income? that actually is a question that has been raised, for example by senator durbin, who allowed how
he might be willing to consider a change in eligibility age if there was some way of protecting low income people. so i would be interested in hearing how folks would deal with that. >> i think a couple of responses. won the strength of programs like medicare and social security is really based on the fact that there are social insurance programs that everybody pays into and everybody gets out of. obviously as i mentioned earlier the medicare program itself is already heavily income related and there are some different income features throughout the medicare program and certainly the people who have their premiums paid through -- paid for through medicaid. if you're in the part d program and the lower third of the income you basically have more of your drug costs taking care of. for example a lot of people in this room probably don't even know that those people have no doughnut hole because the part d coverage is taking care.
those 65-year-olds may lose that coverage should they not be eligible for medicare. there are r.d. number of income adjusted features to the program and of course there will be differences as we just heard since medicaid is in some states not others and there will be a lot more and injured in those states who won't be able to afford their insurance. we are to have a mixed bag of impact here and we do have a fair amount of income related in the medicare program. speak and i just make one point on this? the fair point, we are talking about averages and we did look at the different income groups in our analysis, you know, granted there is a large span of income when you look at 300 two-parter% or 200 to 300% and then 400% and above is a large group although it is a relatively small share of the medicare population. but for those of you who are interested in looking at
averages for a specific income group, i have to set up in my slide because i have a lot of material in this 10 minutes that i was a lot of that we do covered the different out-of-pocket changes in terms of premiums that people would have paid under medicaid and cost that they would have paid under medicare and their expected premium and cost-sharing applications under medicaid or exchange coverage. all of those results are in more detail in report that we displayed at the beginning of our session. >> matches save that these are some of the best questions coming from the audience that we have had in a long time. thank you. >> this question speaks again to protection for the low income population, and have the options been discussed to modify the
definition of poverty level to help seniors, lower income seniors, if the ages increase, in order to allow more seniors to qualify for subsidies and more broadly other cost-sharing options are being talked about. either options that are being talked about that provide greater protections for those with moderate incomes? >> i think there are already some protections for people who are lower income but i think you're also dealing with a population that even modest income folks are really only between 20 and $40,000 is where you'll have a lot of people having very heavy cost to tried to out by insurance and the private market or through the exchanges. it's going to be quite a large chunk of money out of their pockets to try to afford health insurance. sure you guys adopt policies and there are some policies in place that may help do that whether
medicaid or within medicare or putting people onto medicaid or giving people greater subsidies. you could change a trading for example and have one to one-to-one and that would obviously help seniors to be able to afford health insurance of course there are things you could do but these things are obviously going to cost more money and shift costs somewhere else. >> i actually think now that i'm looking at it, the questioner might think getting at something else which is when some -- people once the health and phone laws implemented there will actually be generous eligibility and come standards, more generous income eligibility standards from this pre-65 population for supplemental coverage. for people who are younger than age 65 so i actually think what the questioner questioners getting out is there is some effort to kind of bees that -- to prevent that clip from occurring in the context of some
of these discussions. i think the answer is no, by the way. >> i the way. >> i think the answer is no and of course you could always spend more money on whatever group is being affected and that obviously is additional money you would have to come up with if you try to deal with the problems you were facing. >> in the same vein, this one actually hearkens back to an earlier era as well and the idea is that this is another policy proposal from one of you in the audience, which is to allow a buy-in by those age 65 and 66 to the medicare program as the ages raised from full eligibility. at hearkens it hearkens back to a proposal in the clinton health care era in allowing people as young as 60 or maybe even 55 at 1.2 by ian at the full actuarial
cost. any reaction to that via any of the panelists? >> it makes much less sense given the passage of the affordable care act. i think the issue that had been dealt with previously is that because there are individuals who, for whatever reason, no longer have other sources of insurance coverage in their pre-medicare years, would it be okay to let them buy and on an unsubsidized basis to the medicare pool. we don't have to do that now because we have the affordable care act, which will make insurance via either medicaid or the exchanges available to people in a group setting. so it doesn't mean, you could think about technically doing it that it does not make a lot of sense. >> i totally agree and my first reaction too is such a proposal in today's context would actually make those individuals
were soft when it was brought over to the medicare program with the same set of subsidies that would be available to those individuals through the exchange. >> which is where the question was going. if you bring over that same level of subsidies to an insurance product, which is lowering cost to the point that i brought up earlier about cost-shifting to something that systemwide costs more but less to the federal government taking a loss. what if you offer to buy into medicare for the 65 for 66-year-olds with the same access to subsidies through the hia? >> again you're assuming that it's actuarially cheaper and let me say again real clearly, what we know is medicare providers will be paid less, $716 billion less over 10 years as a result of the affordable care act.
that is not the same as saying that medicare is cheaper. there are various estimates which you can accept or not asked to the kind of cost-shifting that goes on into the private sector. there is almost nothing in the affordable care act that actually lowers the cost of health care. there are a number of promising innovations that are going to be tried, or that are in the process of being started by the center for medicare and medicaid innovations. there are a lot of innovations being tried in the private sector that may end up actually lowering the cost of health care. most of the components in the affordable care act to date and those that are anticipated in the next couple of years will actually increase the cost of care because of the expansions that have occurred in terms of coverage and insurance reforms and because of the various taxes
that have been tacked on such is the insurance premium tax, the new fee that was announced, more insurers who will be entering into exchanges, the medical device tax. those are all going to be tacked onto the users. now that doesn't mean there aren't enormous potentials for figuring out how to provide care more efficiently. we just have nothing now that should lead us to expect that is what is going to happen. if we are lucky and figure out what works, and then figure out whether it's scalable, and then figure out how to actually make it a part of medicare program, all of that could change, but to date, the lower payments that are estimated for medicare over the course of this decade reflect lower payments to providers and services, not
lower cost for providing those services to medicare beneficiaries. so it's a really important difference. >> is it fair to say that, or did i understand correctly what you are saying, to be that there really isn't a cost lowering strategy available now. >> only small items that are actually in the legislation are the ones that come to mind, the accountable care organization, which are a shared savings mechanism. interesting, we will see whether or not they are actually a transitional model or something else and how many participate. but nobody expects large savings from the hbo's per se and the introduction of value-based purchasing, initially to hospitals and then to nursing homes and then ultimately the
physicians -- again $300 billion of quote unquote savings that most people regard as even more ephemeral than others such types of savings. if you actually look ,-com,-com ma other than the value-based, i support but is that the very edge of the hill that we are talking about in terms of change. in the accountable care organizations, the promises. they're learning how to get out of the dysfunctional incentives of medicare as we now know it, which is you get more income by providing more and more complex services, are tied up with these pilots. we all hope that we learned something and that there are changes that we can figure out how to introduce, but we are not there yet. there are a lot of ifs that are about to happen so i applaud the affordable care act for having
substantially expanded coverage. that was very important. the hard stuff has yet to come. we haven't figured out how to do that so as i look at the legislation, there is precious little that lower spending and there are some things that increase costs because of the way it was financed. >> i guess i would just comment that throwing 65 or 66 euros into the market doesn't improve the efficiency or lower cost to there. >> now and what i had have said is it's part and parcel of an attempt to try to get people to understand that the concept of appropriate retirement at 65, which made sense may be at the end of the 19th century and 1935 and maybe even midway through the 20th century, when we are anticipating longevity well into her 80s and for many people into our 90s, is a very
old-fashioned concept and thinking about how to change that, not for those who are currently in retirement or about to be there but for the generations to come, is really important and this could be part and parcel in a way we really couldn't think about easily before we had the affordable care act. that doesn't mean that, as i said in one of my opening comments, we have got some really serious problems to face with medicare and this isn't going to be it. it is really more part and parcel of trying to recognize that the world has really shifted over the course of the last century. we get to claim rate depreciation more than most on this panel for having that happen but we need to try to get this bill into expectations for people who are currently working
that this was an outdated concept, a generation ago, maybe even two generations ago. it needs to be change going forward. >> i think you miss the point when he kept talking about the same retirement issue. regardless of whether 65 or 66 your old are working they still make health coverage. so it's really about a health care coverage issue and affordable coverage issue and that can happen either in the workplace are out of the workplace. still in affordable coverage issue. >> but for people who are continuing working as expected part of life, this becomes not much different than being 63 and 64. it is how you go into the mid-mid-60 period, when most people who report being retired, are not retired for reasons of disability. there's a group that does fall into that and that is why we need to make some kind of accommodations through existing disability programs or others
that the vast majority of people in their mid-60's can work. the expectation has been that this is a normal and reasonable retirement age and it is one that is way outmoded. >> again, they still need insurance. it's costing more to be out of medicare then we we are not reay achieving anything. >> at the risk of appearing to choose favorites about who gets the last word on this exchange, i point out that we have time to come back at it and coming back at it, we have a second bite at the apple. >> thank you, we are all familiar with the statistics that the u.s. spends significantly more as a percentage of gnp in health care than any other developed country. we hear that continuously. what i was surprised to hear at a recent conference was exactly the reverse is true when it comes to social support spending
for lower income groups. for seniors and people with disabilities and things like this, which raises the question in my mind, would it be better for us to try and rebalance our spending in this direction to provide better quality of life by providing support services that allow people to stay in their homes, functioning well instead of institutionalizing them, which is very very expensive. >> we need to figure out how to spend more sensibly and efficiently in health care no matter what else happens, because it makes no sense. we know it can be done in a smarter way. the question about how and how much kind of support structure is a very large one. i will say that most, not all, most of the people who are now
institutionalized in long-term care and other settings are there because they have multiple to -- that are difficult to treat and most of the people who were most easily able to beat treated in the communities were moved out in a variety of programs in the 1980s and 1990s. some of the people on the panel, ed in particular, have been involved with a lot of the work in terms of the channeling and other demonstrations were shown to be effective. so i think it is somewhat of a misconception to think we have large numbers of people who are being institutionalized that can easily be treated elsewhere. but trying to decide whether or not there are ways to change the mix is certainly fair enough. whatever we do in other areas of
spending, we can find ways to have a more sensible health care delivery system. we are just struggling to find out exactly what that looks like and how to get there. >> one point. we basically can take care of people in the home community setting them again and institutions and that is the overwhelming preference is to be taken care of her home at home and not in an institution. >> okay. yes, and i might ask is you were getting ready to ask her question, we are going down to the last few questions we'll be able to ask so i would ask you to take this time to fill out the evaluation as you listen to the final exchanges. >> cam with the american academy of nursing. it was just mentioned a little bit ago, how much has it been factored and, yes americans are living longer but not necessarily because medicine is keeping people alive and things
like that? >> there is a very big difference between being eligible for disability where you really aren't functioning well at all in life and being able to get up, commuting get to a job and stay there for eight to 10 hours and commute back. while yes we are living longer doesn't mean people are not suffering a lot with chronic conditions that really don't necessarily enable them to work full-time, to really support themselves at a higher age and how much is this really then studied, not just looking at the age but the quality of life and really the ability to truly work full-time? >> the there are large percentage of people with either physical or mental disabilities who cannot work beyond the age of 62. the age of social security is the largest time when people claim and it's not just about physical conditions but the availability of jobs, whether not employees are trying to get
people in and out of the workforce. many employees want to work not work full-time but they want to work part-time. we don't just go from working 40 hours a week to not working at all. all these things are changing right now at the time. we do have a healthier population than we have ever had before but we all are also having a less healthy population and we have ever had before with obesity and diabetes. what we do know as i mentioned earlier, there is a very significant difference in life expectancy based on income. higher income people are seeing significant gains and they are likely to have less physically demanding jobs and better health care and their life expectancy has been growing significantly while those at the low end have not. >> the direct answers your question is, there are people and demographers who have looked at the questions and there are surveys that attempt to find out
the answer as to whether not people self-report both in terms of their health status and whether or not they retired because of reasons of disability. so there is some information available. there is always imperfect, but it is not completely absent in terms of individuals and their ability to carry on daily functions, as well as employability at various age swings. >> go ahead. >> i think we are going to wrap up our discussion today. i don't know that we have come to any conclusion but that makes us fit right into washington on this topic. we thank you all for coming. before you leave i want to do a shameless plug for a new timeline, video timeline that is
going to be posted today on our kaiser foundation web site. it's a fun, quick way to get a little bit of history on medicare so for those of you who are looking for a fun way to learn about the program, think you would find educational and short and brief. i know everybody likes that. i want to thank ed for hosting this discussion today and thank our panelists for coming and sharing your thoughts on the perspective and leave it to ed for final. >> only one thing, two things actually. one is, fill out those evaluations and second is to manifest what tricia was talking about by joining me in thanking our panelists. it was a great discussion today. [applause] and for doing that so well, we are going to give you the obligation to come to any more alliance forums this year. happy new year.